Potluck

 

T H I S    W E E K

Poems by Jessie Janeshek

 

I Am the Gentrification

I AM THE RISING RENT

I AM THE CORNER CAFÉ

I AM THE FOUR DOLLAR LATTE

THE EDISON BULB AND RECLAIMED WOOD

I AM THE NEW IPHONE

I AM THE 7-11

THE VOMIT ON YOUR STOOP SUNDAY MORNING

I AM BRUNCH

I AM SEX AND THE CITY, I AM GIRLS

I AM DRUNK WHEN YOU ARE WORKING AND

I AM AFFORDING THIS BARELY

I AM COLORED DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU SPEAK DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU

I AM FROM SOMEPLACE ELSE BRING MONEY FROM SOMEPLACE ELSE

I AM THE CREDIT CARD

I AM THE CUSTOMER THAT DOES NOT SPEAK SPANISH

WHO EATS YOUR COOKING BUT CANNOT SPEAK WITH YOU

CATCHES GLARES FROM YOU

I AM THE NOT EMPTY BANK ACCOUNT OF SOMEONE WITHOUT A STEADY JOB

I AM QUESTIONABLE ECONOMICS

I AM THE OTHER

I AM NOT FROM HERE

REJECTED MY HOME

CLAIM THIS AS MY OWN

I AM THE THEFT OF YOUR CULTURE

THE CANCER ON YOUR HISTORY

BUT I AM MY GRANDFATHER'S SON

IN THIS COUNTRY LESS THAN A CENTURY

I AM AMERICAN, BARELY

FROM FAMILY WHO ESCAPED A PLACE WHERE TO STAY

MEANT SENSELESS DEATH

I AM THE PEOPLE WHO RUN

WHOSE SUPPOSED HOME IS AN UNDERGRADUATE COURSE IN CONFLICT

FROM A FORMERLY POOR PEOPLE WHOSE BLOCKS WERE THESE UNTIL GENERATIONS BACK

RUN OUT BY RISING RENTS

THOSE OF YOUR GRANDPARENTS

A FAMILY FORCED INTO THE SHADOW OF THE CITY

WHO FROM THE BENCH BUILT THEMSELVES UP

I AM THE GRANDSON OF A LAWYER FROM THE GHETTO

I AM THE MONEY I DID NOT EARN

THE RETURN TO THE LAND OF MY AMERICAN ANCESTOR

NEW FOUND FOREIGNER

I AM THE GENTRIFIER

I AM YOU AND YOU ARE ME

WE HAVE BEEN HERE SO LONG

OUR STRUGGLES ARE THE SAME

OUR SKIN OUR LANGUAGE OUR FOOD, DIFFERENT

BUT SO DELICIOUS

OUR HISTORIES ARE THE SAME HISTORIES

WE BOTH BELONG HERE, BARELY

WE BOTH CAME OR COME FROM SOMEPLACE ELSE

NO ONE EARNED THEIR PARENTS' MONEY

I AM THE GENTRIFICATION

I AM THE RETURN