White House


Yes, I know I didn’t kneel in oatmeal
in that square, white house
where a tree grew beside
with monkey-bar arms

But I did lose a tooth there
and pull ticks out of my hair
with peanut butter

Right beside,
I kicked my heel to the spout
and the tub filled with blood
the red still stains my mind
although now it is clean

In that room,
headlights through a window
to a sitting child
and my mom came to pick me up
and then in my grandparents’ living room
but the man didn’t want me, he wanted her

But the girl who kneeled in oatmeal
wasn’t wanted by a man
and ran away to women with dark skin
The Secret Life of Bees

But somehow,
a two-dimensional girl
came alive in my kitchen
though she will never be there
because she does not exist

Published by celinamcmanus

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