Tanya White: Three Poems

Mean to An End

My good morning to the bus driver
is met with tight lips refusing to let civility
come forward and meet me half way.
A thick girl, wearing thin pants
worn tired from everyday wear
sporting a pig tail at the nape of her neck
jutting out like a cactus,
–don’t dare touch that tender place–
snatches the transfer coughed up for the kid directly
in front of her.
He standing off stupidly to the side.
A sucker born…and I started to…
awww, who am I kidding?I keep my mouth shut.
Forgetting…all the good revolutions begin with poets.
What a punk!
The driver pushes a button, spits up another transfer
the thick sis sits
clutching her connection, shiny bright bird eyes,
  just trying to get over.
       Just trying to get over
                Just trying to get over


Royalty Rides the Rapid 7

The Queen rises to the occasion
of travel crosstown
eyeing her people with wary care
as the kneeling
bus dips down

With easy command she
reprimands the driver
his slight unknown to him
tossing her transfer
he looks down

Black brimmed crown
ashy hands, a long lost smile
a kingdom flush with mobile acreage
at the mouth of the river thorazine
she sits down

She greets each subject by name
we are common
all one in the same
she knows we cannot meet her gaze
heads bow down

She creates a community
when she FINALLY exits at the rear
silently pleading for our allegiance
we poor peasants avert our eyes
she steps down

Long live the queen!
A mantle of expletives round
her shoulders, match her crown of thorns
her peoples’ prayer— there but for the grace of God
we ALL fall down 


Portrait of the Artist as a young Girl

I remember being ten years old.
Valentine’s Day.
I drew a perfect ribbon.

I remember
the sensation
the perfect

way it curled
flat on paper
yet full of breath

it felt perfect
it was
it was perfectly

in the body
the moment

like fascia

of memory
a girl being
drawn to draw

the perfect ribbon

Chasing that

(Author photo by Willy Sanjuan)

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