What’s Left? by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

They hand you a handout…a look     
a number…a label 
a social identity that passes for you 
They call you they and them—   
Black people   poor people gay people   other people  
They add on ‘’people’’ to distinguish you  
from White Western male majority  
They can’ t help being like that     
They were born that way  
Do unto others 
before they do unto you 
Go ahead make duplicates  
only I’ll keep the original 

I anonymously yours am at a loss  
Coiled in my shell—a cheap hotel  
or is it Hell ?— 
a crime scene tape I dare not cross 

I am envious of my own reflection  
I will never make it to the other side of the frame  
Never see my own children again 
I   the carbon copy of unnamed stars   of meteors 
God’s blueprint at my fingertips 
the Trinity stamped on my forehead 
my tongue nailed to the roof of my mouth 
a chain-link fence that keeps going South 

They hand you a look a label a number 
then point you in the direction of your shallow grave— 
the one you carry with you                                              
the one in which you bury yourself 
a little deeper every day 
What identity is left                                                                  
is either inherited like a windfall    or a disease 
is a reasonable facsimile of an ad     
a commercial on TV   a Facebook emoji     
What identity is Left 
may be borrowed from the Right… 
smacks of popular opinion   late nite   date night  
Artificial Intelligence    Fox breaking news     
the romance novel you once read  
just before that illegal abortion in sunny Mexico  
The one that left you hemorrhaging in some unmarked train station  
or forever boring smiles into other women’s children— 
children whose souls you may recognize but never fully embrace  

What identity is left    is a mirror   without a face                                          
without health care or a place to call home…
What identity is left    is you   humming   alone in the dark. 
is the echo of an echo  is Light sailing to some distant shore 
is taking a vacation without you  
is reminding you  is reminding you   
that you still look good   you still look damn good  
Red is sooo becoming!  as you stand there dripping in blood 

What identity is left   
is patting you on the back 
is feeding you more of these lines  
they guard your uterus better than assault weapons 
as your brittle (but genius original) bones are snapping 
in sync    with your still cool    ever-breaking heart  

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