In a new world my tongue is pink and I will be from a family of kings. My taste buds

won’t taste black poundings from the steel door of my illegal basement apartment.

A voice of war from the other side, “Police Department!” And I unlock my door like

I am responding to a call. Cops coming in by twos, a cacophony of dispatchers, “Suspect

in the area, description: any hispanic male 4, 5, 6, or 7 feet tall. May or may not have

papers or drugs. Favorite words are cervezas, cigarrillos, and unemployment.” Searching

my apartment with without-warrant strides, walking heavy and slow to press dirt into

the dirt color rugs of my tongue flipping mattresses like casino dealers flipping royal

cards, like they flipped me. As if my skin was tattooed with a kick me sign. Like hitting

the jackpot, like purchasing a serta, they call me in as a code, they call me signal 13.

They tell me they are renovating while rummaging through my bedroom, now I am

preparing them dinner with my stuff they threw on the floor. My mouth is in the shape

of laughter that sounds like crying over the chopping of onions because in a new world

my new name will be king and my tongue would be pink if I can hold it in this lifetime.