by Mara Adamitz Scrupe
A man is asked. He replies. One day my children's. Children
will be a minority. In their own. Country. Thus taken. This country.
Taken away. There is history. To consider. Black haired. Black eyed.Souls.
Like any. Others. Spoke to animals. Shoulders to wheels. Took them.
In. On. Their shoulders. Took their. Names. White man’s.
Names. The man. Worries. About whiteness. Purity.
The outside. Not the inside.
Schedules. Tables. Graphs. Comparisons. Color. Material. Or immaterial.
Or mostly. Having to do with shape. Head. Or nose. How deep set.
Slanted. The eyes. Purity. At stake. Negroes. Slavs. At the bottom. Was. Is. At
stake. Little. Brown. Bottom people. Bottom. Of the heap. Or behind walls. Or
thereabouts. Presumed intelligence. Or. Lack. Our grandchildren’s.
Inheritance. Systems. Selections. Cranial measurements. Adjudications.
Tests administered. Which people. Took. Anything. Would. Do. Anything. Only.
Let. Me. In. Others had. Reasons. Reason. On their. Side. They said. They
say. Ratios are off. The names. Impossible. Everything. Everything. Things end.
Ending. With a vowel. Strike it. The ships. Coffins. Teem. Not satin-
lined. Rafts. Not immutable. Not sad. Beyond. Beyond sadness. Beyond tears.
A thing of the world. This. World. To be endured. Anything else. Is.
Wreckage. No room for. No room.
Beginnings. Begin. A woman starts toward. Concrete block. Shower
head. Bath. Bathe. A woman wants. Starts toward. Walk. Bathe. Believe. In this
simple. A thing. Thing. To enfold. Behold. It’s. Simple. Take these clothes. Yes.
Mine. But I. I give. Them. If I can. Have. Search my pubis.
Filth. Disease. I will. For simple. For example. For begin. Beyond. For. My.
Daughter. Sister. Try to hold. Back. But to believe. Is. Simple. A bath. Clean. Bathe.
Mara Adamitz Scrupe is a poet and visual artist. In 2014 the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) named her the winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition Prize for her first volume of poetry BEAST which was published by the NSFPS Press in 2015. She is also the author of a chapbook entitled Sky Pilot published by Finishing Line Press. In 2015, Scrupe’s poems have been shortlisted or named finalist for several national and international literary awards including the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, Australia; the Canterbury Poetry Festival University of Kent Prize and Poet of the Year (UK); the Wenlock Prize in Poetry (UK); the Auburn Witness Prize in Poetry (Auburn University); the Janet B. McCabe Prize for Poetry (Ruminate Magazine); the Oberon Poetry Prize (Oberon Poetry Foundation, New York); and the Tomaž Šalamun Chapbook Prize (VERSE Literary Journal University of Richmond, Virginia).