Kale Greens by Constance Collier-Mercado

Don’t like it. Fine. Won’t eat it. Fine too. //

There’ll be no leafy Green wedged between White
                                                                           more like pink

Opaque colored tusks / not
                                        real tusks. 

Not like: Ivory. More like bone.

                                         unsoaked stale dentures //

slimy with seaweed slivers Green
                                            wedged between White

more like pink Opaque tinted cavities / of
                                                                 the oral kind.

Uppity seaweed harvested / from
                                             uppity post-racial White House
                                             “Let’s Move!” //

nigger farms.
locally sourced.

High s’ditty super food / bloating
                                         bubbles //

 to fill our cavernous
                          bellies with super fuel.

Fuel to where? Who knows?
(and maybe you’re not going there!)

Fine three.

Maybe grandma’s house / with
                                          the peppermint stripes
                                          and the peppery bitter bite
                                          and the 70’s carpet //

 Green wedged between White
                                          more like pink

Opaque wallpapered walls
                                     is just too much for you.

 Even with the hipster renovation.
                                   appropriation. //

Not like their walls. More like: Our Walls.
                                                   Spare Walls.
                                                   Confined Walls.


 But, Jesus-be-a-leafy-Green, please / don’t call it
                                                             White folks’ food.

Don’t wedge that Green between White
                                                         more like pink. Just //

 cause you’ve forgot. Didn’t think. No. Outgrown
                                                               the kitchen sink
                                                               and such bourgeois //                                                   

                                                                brine-soaked stock.

It’s still ours. Locally sourced. Organic.

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Contributor Notes

Constance Sherese Collier-Mercado is an experimental writer/artist in search of all the culture she can get. Born in Chicago and raised in the Bronx, her work examines the nuanced layers found within Black dialectical, multilingual, and equivocal spaces - the literal and imagined intersections of sensory, mystic, and social identities - to include cultures of abuse, empowerment, and dis/ability.

Her poetry has been published in FIYAH Literary Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Kweli Journal amongst others forthcoming. An excerpt from her grief play Chelsea’s Dream: Embracing Yellow premiered as a unanimous selection at the 2015 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival and she produced a one-woman spoken word homage to The Last Poets at the 2016 Festival. She has also curated two AfroFutures Syllabus events: Hoo-Doula/Voo-Doula, which was hosted at the Auburn Avenue Research Library, and Black Sun/Black Son as a live Twitter-chat.

An alumnus of the 2017 Home School Claremont Conference, two Live to Write workshops, the 2018 VQR Writer's Conference, and the 2018 Hurston/Wright Foundation Writer's Week, Constance lives in Atlanta, GA where she is currently writing a first volume of poetry and two speculative novels. In her free time she can be found obsessing over the fact that she has no free time. Follow Constance on Twitter and Instagram @WriterChicLady.