by Lucia Herrmann Benítez

to use words with ex- like
explicitly reference exploitation
extreme inequity and no-longer-
acceptable excuses / to demand
more than delegated dash of
confectioner’s sugar.

expected: accept
baseline bare minimum
w/ groveling & gratitude
as if persistence of have-nots is
burden enough (eyesore & horror).

in this place now remiss re: asylum,
immigrants less weary-welcomed
more stealing & suspicious, strain
on nominal, derelict infrastructure,
“no speak english” is outlawed
sleeping giant insurgency.

this Land was never yours
wealth isn’t meant to hoard:
billionaires exist by injurious
labor practice & tax systems
porous w/ loopholes meant to treat
corporations as deity & despot.

this trap is nuanced, multiplicitous
& unforgiving finishing school
exposed as affective means of control,

I come from generations
of head down + hush up
this great & we escaped
fate much worse, pray
for roots deep enough
for the flooding

but there is flourish in the overflow,
unexpected irrigation:

aggravate – push – tension

we’re done w/ polite-ask
smile small hand-to-chest
now teeth show, bite back
strike-ready, unrest

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