You Cannot Pass by Jonathan Marcantoni

Peel off my skin and I’ll tell you a story/descendant of slaves and their rapists/I am the crossroads of vengeance and glory/Caresses and punches/gnawing destitute dreams of a crack fiend/lives within my being/demons I can only face and never deny

How nice for you/one with translucent skin and pure blood/history of victory/sins buried under righteous assertions/validated by Reagan’s executive order/codify the hate you feel through laws that yield screams/you will never hear in your McMansion/on Smith avenue/coward

All your friends/Latin Americans/who pass/like I can/pass, like my family used to say/better the race/strip away the nigger flesh/ seeps into your veins/you may be a spic/we’ll hide it with your name/coward

Latin Americans/worship nationalism/in the form of the stars and bars/in your dreams/destitute and rotting/dreams borrowed with 10% interest/that you cross the desert for, hop on a plane for, sail on raft a for/and when you hit dry land/tell your kids you came from Puritans/borrow that dream, forget who you are/Latin American/tear off your skin

Latin Americans/let the blood cover your lies/to yourself/let it dry/stick to your pores/let the blood spill as you rip away the blackness/strip away/language of your ancestors/Spanish, Nahautl, Quechua/strip the flesh until your bones shine/in the sun

White/like the accent you adopt/white like the names you give your child/white like the movies you watch/the music you listen to/cowboy hat/leather boots/doing a square dance/praising Reagan/Reagan the precursor to a Satan that builds walls/atop your cousins

A Satan that bans human beings/their beliefs/who feed the fears of the race you embrace/pass, motherfucker/let the sand niggers die/pass/let the refugees starve/pass/let the spics eat their own/pass/pretend the life you live isn’t built on the corpses of children/the labor of children/the screams of children/neglected/starving/un-white

Unlike you/until that won’t be good enough/until the Satan you love uncovers your true self/and throws you in the pen/until you rot