Poem by Matthew Hupert

been given
a gift you don’t want?

my grandparents weren’t white
enough for america.
It took the ovens and the hunger
of father & mother
it took political necessity
to make my people white.


We had to be white
enough to elicit sympathy and sacrifice
and donations for war

whiteness was handed to us
like a prize with a smile
expected to mollify
sand off the jigsaw nubs that makes us unique

re gifted –
not long before the Italians and Irish and Poles were gifted–
But somehow that was different – they wanted it – wanted belonging

A woman I knew once called me a gringo
But I told her the gringos que habían cagado en sus muertos
that shit on her dead
looked at killing us as venerable traditional

I didn’t ask for this gift
& while I know it’s bad manners
I decline to accept

The only good thing is
now I can pass
through the 1st purge
at least

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