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From the Diary of Sally Hemings

“White waves—a bitter dream—my mother’s mother in the lower deck—wet and cold in the blue-black night.

Dahomey child, betrothed when she was young, before she knew of white men or the sea.

A thin veil of fog. Her family brings a farmer, a boy not yet a man, to marry with the business of the home. Each dawn she climbs the palm tree and touches wine with her hands. A feast prepared. The gods must have a hand in this! A young goat sacrificed, okra, oranges, a basket of yams laid at her feet. She stands with old friends in new finery, her buba and iro an odd-colored blue, hair in beads, piled to the sky, tapping the palm wine from the palm tree.

Kidnapped before the roast meat was cold, snatched away to America; she was a stranger to the sea. White waves in the blue-black sea. Now a voyage of a different sort. Maria won’t go unless I come along. White waves in the blue-black sea till we land in port.”

Hand Washing

I would wash my hands
After opening the refrigerator
And looking in at the lunchmeat and tomatoes,
The blimp-shaped pickles in cloudy water.

Kitchen

From Sanjukta Bandyopadhyay’s “Kitchen,” ” After every night, every morning is the same: each human being eats-drinks-brushes his teeth, just like a human being; I don’t have any illusions.”

Wait Till Donald Trump Buys the Whitney

In an artworld so clearly molded and regulated to serve the needs of the dominant and most privileged sectors of our society and their ways of doing business-the same sectors which benefit from the perpetuation of major conflicts of national, class, race and gender interests-what are the possibilities for oppositional, critical practices to assert themselves and be received?