Immigrant Suicide

poetry 0
AD Tenn

 

If the gullet
of a brown

man is pink,
he must

be born
of salt.

Before hanging,
his back

must be
strict as

leather pleated by
a cherry

knifeā€”blue light
must swallow

his angels
to their bones.

911 give me
your angels

in neon boots.
The wind

blew hay-fire
westward,

the match lit
with a knife.

Pleading, the man
will run

to the closet.
He will

find himself &
his name

slit open, nuestros
abuelos doused

in gasoline
smelling ripe

as tangerine.
My mother

recognizes him
in a photograph

taken & spit
onto industrial

concrete, his nod
the eternal

yes, resting
in glorious

benediction. Martyr
of us all.

If the death
of a brown

man is newsprint,
then his children

must reply
in the tongue

of the colonizer:
I would

rather drink
the Salton Sea

than let
America love me.

AD Tenn is a nonbinary trans poet and musician thrilled to be in this issue of Salamander. They are pursuing their MFA at NYU’s low-residency program in Paris and are a current poetry editor at Narrative Magazine.