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House Un-American

by Lucy Rahayiroyi
Visual by James Hirsch

by James Hirsch

by James Hirsch

As midnight
pours on,
she wonders if I will go to college
because people like me usually don’t.
The indignation curls up in my throat;
it threatens to come out in tufts of smoke.
But I repress 
my enmity
for the sake of co-Christianity.
Every month,
she maneuvers her bulky vehicle by the side of our house
and drops off a physical representation
of Stuff, etc.
She wants to see us tear through the plastic
garbage bag like rats scavenging for scraps.
She slinks off like a predator.
Later, she states:
from the looks of it, your brother
will grow up to be a good-for-nothing degenerate.
She smiles proudly at her own son.
She chooses to identify with my mother,
hinting that we should appreciate her
secondhand goods 
because we don’t know
the struggles of single-motherhood.
A thought flies to my mind:
The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne,
but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.
Right now,
I would rather be an animalistic animist 
with no moralistic impediment. 
Instead, I tell her:
But black lips should have no backlash;
they should always stay grateful. 

Italicized text from “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, 1846