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if I spoke Spanish
by Hezekiah Allen Taylor

the world is made in China
they craft humans from a mold
paint trees in green lead
some chink is, right now, getting cancer from that

he's the new boy
slicing free the fruits of toys and bra clasps
new niggers in a new field

if I knew the language
I could tell the future
wetbacks wait, and then
there will be more
maybe towel heads, who knows?

someone will rise
when the Chinese die from industry

but, it won't be me, sugar
I'm too white and middle class
and decidedly American
to die from work

that risk is for someone else entirely

after all,
as the Romans knew well,
there's always another man
to torture
a man who packages,
seals down the edges,
and ships himself
without a single word

bring us your tired
your poor
your huddled masses


but make sure
they carry some parts for this truck
and a toy for my brat
and some new silverware

tied together in a tight little pack
on his back
and tell him
he can't stay
if he doesn't speak the language

Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version
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