À La Carte: dialogue and invitations & Cultivation

dialogue and invitations

If y’all have babies I hope they have his hair.

You have a lot of potential.

You’re so well spoken.

silence
ignored

I have a job this summer cleaning my house, if you’re interested.

money tossed on the counter.
no eye contact

You’re going to be fly … what does that mean?

The Middle Passage was the journey captured Africans took to the Americas.
Only 3 of us knew that out of 75.
1 of the ‘us’ was the professor.
All of ‘us’ were brown.

I don’t usually date brown skin girls, but for you I’d make an exception.
You’re one of the good ones, you know.

All lives matter until you speak up
wake up
toss the shackles
guilty victims deserved their fate.
If only they were
Respectful quiet complicit quiet complicit
docile meek forgiving complicit
They’d be alive breathing in cages.


Cultivation

The bus belches up its insides.
Golden brown bodies spill forth,
dressed in denim and cotton, wearing bandanas, towels, hats
to defend against the sun.
They seep into the field like water over parched earth.
And work
tobacco
cucumbers
strawberries
and work.
The work no one wants but machines can’t do.
The work that breaks down the body and wears at the soul.
The work that fuels dreams.
The work that induces nightmares and heat stroke,
dehydration and snake bites.
And work.
Spanish thoughts in southern fields.
Latino/a sweat drenches berries and veggies and
stains dried tobacco leaves.
dirt smudged hands,
tired hands.
Desperate hands pull the sun from the sky.
Perspiration illuminates their brows
coated in dust, kissed by mosquitos.
Drained,
swallowed by the bus again
before they have to raise the moon.

 

Jamica A. Whitaker is a writer and communications strategist based out of Durham, North Carolina. A graduate of Elizabeth City State University and East Carolina University, Jamica has been writing creatively since middle school but recently had the courage to share her writing with the world. Her writing includes poetry, short stories, and personal essays.