Kaitlin LaMoine Martin

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

I’m sitting here, white. Remembering the boy who called
me Casper in grade school. How language pushed

my color into being. My Spanish homework
instructs the masculine plural to include

the feminine members. Another Black man is killed
by police today. Black man includes women

also killed by police. How violence pushes us all
into being. Or out of being.

How the pole which entered and exited Frida’s
pelvis left her shipwrecked in self.

The bullet which broke into Aiyana’s skull.
A friend sleeps with her children next to the wall,

blocking them with her body, in case the house
is raided. Another carries three knives at all times,

in case she needs them again. Outside my window,
a robin. Maybe it’s time to memorize bird bone structure.

A surer map. At what point does injury
become strategy? Frida’s painting was the only path.

There are no landmarks for this fever. No familiar
remedies, no beats per minute guidelines.

Only, our bones and connective tissue,
trying to refuse.

Kaitlin LaMoine Martin was raised by a community of writers in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She’s been published in Barrow Street, Bellevue Review, and Passages North, among others. She owns a photography business, works for a non-profit, and spends hours thinking of new ways to entertain her dogs, Frida and Adam Lee Wags II.