Best of the Net 2019  

A Woman Yells, "Maxine!" 14 Times Outside My Brooklyn Window

Please Lord, let it be
a dog dead in the street
and not a woman black
as me. Today was a good
day. I drowned my hash browns
in a plate of ketchup and David Ruffin
sang about the bee's envy. I rode
the subway without complaining
today and there was no delay
after crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
The only crimes I witnessed
were the solid-built man refusing
to rise and let the old woman sit
on the hard plastic of subway seat,
and the white woman who was bold
enough to leave her apartment
with "dreadlocks" tangling out her scalp.
Today, I almost forgot
that I was far away from my mother
and her growing hands that would grease
the driest parts of my scalp without being
asked to. Today, I almost forgot
that anyone who doesn't share my face
would care if I went missing. Maxine
should be the name of a Jack Russell
or a Retriever that has escaped
its leash and run into the street
for some type of wet freedom
nothing else but the rain offers.
I know nothing of pet ownership
but I know what it is like to fear
the night and every precious thing
that can get lost in it.

- Karisma Price (from Cotton Xenomorph)