When someone’s son becomes a meat
offering on our block, they
hire one of us to scrub the blood
away – can understand that
but they’ve been scrubbing us away
painting over bronzed cherubs
even the tomatoes Italians planted
before they turned white uprooted
, their coagulated roses trimmed
into a respectable fence
no thing happened here. They get
to twenty-first century homestead, pilgrim
, pogrom, genocide
our dead are ghosts
though we were ghosts to them before
they will say nothing
to their children and when
they are petulantly rebellious, parents
will say nothing of note happened here
insist never knew what makes prime rare
The agent winks she’s putting the Abba
in Abattoir”: others say “Aba-T” is
where “the noir’s all gone
When blood sullies their planters of
greenery while someone’s son’s mother
and a well-practiced coterie bawl too
loud and too long, they call the
to be protected from, from
Listen to Rosamond S. King read this poem:
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“Abattoir Gentrification” from ALL THE RAGE: by Rosamond S. King.
Published by Nightboat Books 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Rosamond S. King.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Rosamond S. King’s poetry collections are All the Rage and the Lambda Award-winning collection Rock | Salt | Stone. Her scholarly monograph Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination was named “Best Book” by the Caribbean Studies Association. She has performed around the world and throughout cyberspace. King is creative editor of sx salon and associate professor at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York.
"All the Rage is a metropolitan poetics where protest and testimony do not spare confusion but makes within these passages—veering between performance and document—a new kind of torque. What are the facts? What are the ironies? Who is contradicting who? What just happened? What gets kept? This book is not only a cry of pain but also for joy, of what is possible and what may be impossible."
—LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
"All the Rage is a barbwire slaughterhouse of American dysfunction surrounded by a moat of molten fury. Rosamond S. King wrote these poems with a claw hammer in one hand, a blowtorch in the other, and enough decibels to sear any virus, including presidential pestilences, into cinders. This book is highly recommended as a talisman against all forms of oppression and a bugle call for reckoning history. Dive in, dear reader, but remember, the safety’s off!"