The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Saturday and Baltimore Harbor


Spoiled Child
By Pages Matam

English is your fourth language

the baby of the family

the one your mouth spoils

favorite by default

who may one day be sold off by its siblings

in hopes to never return

all of your other tongues have grown jealous


your country has over 200 dialects

that's over 200 ways

to say Love

to say family

to say I am a song

to say I belong to something

that does not want to kill me

& does not want to siphon the gold from my

blood or the stories from my bones

--------

"English is one of five languages I hold fluently in reading and writing, and...I thought to myself, how can I reconcile the traditions and culture as a Cameroonian born and raised writer in the current wave of immigration and oppression of those who are not 'American'?" Matam told Poets.org.

Friday was my least eventful day of the week, mostly because I ended up spending too much of it fighting with computers -- first my desktop, which has an awesome replacement keyboard but decided that I wanted adaptive screen lighting no matter how many times I turned it off and kept dimming my screen, refusing to let me use the hardware buttons to brighten it again, then my old laptop, which has decided that it's own power cord is not a Dell power cord and keeps demanding that I get it one. (It will use my new Dell power cord, so it's definitely a cord issue, not a laptop issue.) It was pretty hot, at least, so I didn't mind spending a lot of the day indoors.

We had dinner with my parents, came home and watched some baseball and college football, then I put on A Simple Favor, which was quite enjoyable and not predictable -- every time I thought I knew where it was going, Anna Kendrick's character would say something like, "Are you trying to Diabolique me?", which is both funny and a pointed comment on expectations of women in film noir (this one starts out meeting one set of expectations, then does a big amazing flip, and while I wouldn't call it a feminist masterpiece, it doesn't offer good-and-evil judgement on women who make some very unconventional sexual choices). Around Baltimore's harbor earlier this month:

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