A Black Woman Gets a Window Seat on Aer Lingus

by Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Enough Ireland.
For all your lush
effusion of color—
inside me blooms
a masochistic loneliness.
Give me the screws
I know best,
the policeman
quick to test
my Yes, Sir
as acid-less.
Trigger the Midwest.
Never on the Bible
school test was this:
crucifixion kills, not nails
into feet or wrists
but the weight borne
upon the breast.
You suffocate slowly
in your own flesh.
As I return
to the upright cross
of the U.S.,
I breathe easier,
I breathe less.

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint, (Gival Press) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry.  She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. She lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children.