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Inspirerad av Southern Gothic by Natasha Trethewey

Natashas mamma är mulatt. Pappan är vit.

Jag, zebran kommer hem
från skolgården på flykt
till och från lejonungarna.

Mamma ler då

med spända läppar.

En sömnlös natt,
går jag in i deras sovrum.

Den glömda sänglampan
är tänd, deras kroppar

är böjda – som parenteser
i deras kommande separation.

Mina föräldrarna pratar
fortfarande med varandra

med varsitt språk.

Southern Gothic

I have lain down into 1970, into the bed my parents will share for only a few more years. Early evening, they have not yet turned from each other in sleep, their bodies curved—parentheses framing the separate lives they’ll wake to. Dreaming, I am again the child with too many questions— the endless why and why and why my mother cannot answer, her mouth closed, a gesture toward her future: cold lips stitched shut. The lines in my young father’s face deepen toward an expression of grief. I have come home from the schoolyard with the words that shadow us in this small Southern town—peckerwood and nigger lover, half-breed and zebra—words that take shape outside us. We’re huddled on the tiny island of bed, quiet in the language of blood: the house, unsteady on its cinderblock haunches, sinking deeper into the muck of ancestry. Oil lamps flicker around us—our shadows, dark glyphs on the wall, bigger and stranger than we are.

Natasha Trethewey

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Publicerad 2022-01-22 15:00

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