Today's poem is by Reginald Harris

The Man with My Name

Lives in another town.
Was born without
a pebble in his shoe.
Went straight home from
school. Did not get into
fights. Never ran.

Obeys speed limits, traffic lights,
DO NOT ENTER signs. Has never
been pulled over by police.
Married, fathered three. Moved to
the suburbs. Has every smooth
jazz album ever made.

Keeps his hair cut short. Promptly
answers mail. Returns
every phone call the same day.
Has never seen the Southern Cross,
or cried beneath the midnight sun.
Remembers names. His mother's face.

Plays baseball, basketball,
golf—for business reasons.
Loves talk radio. Laughs
at faggot jokes. Undresses
women in the office with his eyes.
Is an early riser. Still can't dance.

Stays in touch with college,
high school friends. Doesn't mind
he is the only black they know.
Works out. Eats his vegetables,
cleans his plate. Never chased
a penguin, startled a muskrat,

or kissed a man.
Always listened, never
questioned. Never touched
a corpse to say good-bye.
Is loved by all.

Copyright © 2013 Reginald Harris All rights reserved
from Autogeography
Northwestern University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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