12


by Elizabeth Estochen


 

A riddle: how many humans equal one

God

taking a life through the hands of the law?

Weight placed on the

scales of justice before one side sinks

deeper,

like a stone in Lake Texoma.

Listen:

even with skin white as bread and butter

I’ve felt the looks.               You know,

the looks like worms that bore through

you when they run their eyes from your

head to feet. You know

what I’m talking about.

Now consider the black man who enters

a bank while

the white woman from behind

the desk pantomimes a

crucifix on her chest.

Consider being black in a neighborhood being disabled in a school being Latinx in a yard being

queer.                                                                         Being.

And that look is always waiting

on the other side of at least 12

doorways, flapping its lips and

whispering through the

keyhole, you don’t

belong here, you

don’t belong

 

anywhere.

 


Elizabeth Estochen is a queer, nonbinary writer in Denver, Colorado. Her chapbook, For Love, and for Cruelty was published by WordTech Editions in January, 2020. Follow her on Twitter @estochen or her website, http://estocheneditorial.com.