National Poetry Month Day 4: “We Who Bite the Hand” by Jonterri Gadson


We Who Bite the Hand

The asses that sit on grocery store eggs
praying they will hatch belong to
the hands that sever worms and snap
beetle’s backs just so we can build a bug hospital
with the same fingers that pick our own scabs
until dots of blood rise up
to suck away with hot mouths
full of thick tongues we have yet to grow into,
our gums—corridors for exposure of bones
otherwise kept secret, smuggled in blood, our bodies
crossing borders committing punishable offenses. Children,
what are we, if not interruptions? Our bodies
impermanent tattoos on the air’s broad back. Nothing to stop us
from believing even the space after a colon is meant for us.

Jonterri Gadson

Read the Rumpus review of Pepper Girl.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →