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I Walk into Every Room and Do Not Need to Yell Where the Nigerians At

                            after José Olivarez


because we’re here: everywhere.
 loud. & colorful. & yes

 we know crooked but o bless
our mothers’ hands. what miracles

they carve out of our spines.
 what blessing it is to swim

 in the rivers inside our fathers’
and mothers’ palms. & how we toil

to prove that the way
 they move with the wind or

 the current of the sea is not
in vain. it’s why we’re everywhere:

in & on the courts, in hospitals, on tv, on
the radio, in books. to make, especially,

our fathers smile. each smile a snow
 leopard we’ve seen maybe once

 or twice. can’t remember where
but we sure do remember the holy of it.

 we’re here, singing our songs
and dancing our dances, laughing

with gravity—a long
 lost kin—as it gently rocks

 a paper note after another
from sweaty foreheads to the ground.


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