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By Simonne Elease Willis • 

i trace america’s outline on a map,

flinch when i reach the thirteen.

a single prick on my fingertip.

a single drop of blood


(the shape of a dog bares its teeth)

another drop of blood


(the shape of a crow tilting its head)

america has stood on my back and jumped,

the vertebrae of my spine colliding

like tectonic plates.

but with a smirk

nestled in the corner of my mouth,

i rage.

i am the child of cynicism.

cut yourself on my serrated smile

and bleed the truth that i thirst for.

Simonne Elease Willis is a budding poet aspiring to integrate her interests in literature, Black intersectional issues, and nonprofit organizations.