| words that get in your teeth

July 4th Independence Day by Regina Jamison

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We are cautious around flag wavers
their eyes shine like dead stars
their stripes turn black and white
for me
their pledge of allegiance a grievance
unanswered
cautiously I mumble the words
fearful of the word traitor
independence wasn’t / isn’t meant for me
and every firecracker a gunshot in the back
every flag a noose
every day
we dying

~

Regina Jamison is a writer and educator who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her poetry has appeared in Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbian Revolution, Mom Egg Review, Five Two One Magazine, Magma Literary Journal, The Americas Poetry Festival of New York Anthology 2016, Promethean Literary Journal, Off the Rocks: An Anthology of GLBT Writing Vols. 14 & 15, and Poetry in Performance Journal Vol. 43. Online, her poetry has appeared on Indolent Press HIV Here & Now Series, Silver Birch Press – Me as a Child Series, and Promethean eZine. Her poems will also appear in the upcoming issue of Switchgrass Review. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at City College in New York. Her novel, Choosing Grace, is forthcoming next year with Bella Books.

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