Journeys 2 The Center of The Soul

Midwestern Love Letter

My mother thought I had a bladder problem when all I wanted 2 do was read the words on the stalls.
Forbidden messages written by ghosts that disappeared with filthy pen taps.
Perhaps if I wanted a good time then Betty was the one to call.
Faceless ghosts cowardly sharing their ideologies with little old me.
Five years of dying staring at a corroded wall of a pump station bathroom in the middle
of the great state of Indiana.
I figured that meant me since Lil’ Nigga was how my brother greeted me in front of Alpesh’s liquor store.
I guess my father was a Nigger too ‘cause both his brows touched when he saw the message.
But how could the ghost hate me when all I ever did at 5 was what my mother told me?
All I ever did at 5 was break my father’s sprinkler but I caught the strap for that.
“ALL NIGGERS DIE” was signed by KKK.
Only KKK I knew was Kris Kareem Kemper that sat 2 rows away in Ms. Ceko’s class & he couldn’t spell.
Maybe if I was never born then KKK wouldn’t be so angry and my father’s eyes wouldn’t carry two sacks of pain.
I asked him why KKK hated me & his reply was
“I don’t see any Niggers in this bathroom.”
And that’s all he ever said about that

-Donald A.C. Conley


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