Indira Allegra


Why should I be bullied by December?
Why should I lay still beneath the sweater of black evenings
wondering what is cold for?
When July wears her breasts like a fruit platter
palms plated gold, pouring pink lemonade
into tall turquoise glasses.
Her laughter clinks like ice melting behind
copper curtains of sweet tea spilling up
from black women's mouths.
But it is winter,
and there are no walls of wet heat to walk through.
There are no sidewalks glittering in the afternoon
waiting for sticky thighs and naked feet to
remind them how it felt to live like grass.

Yes, it is winter
and I am laying
beneath the heaviest sweater
wondering what is cold for.
If not for that time when
I can no longer dress in yellow
and winter's bruises begin to darken
and I become accustomed
to the idea
of dying.

Indira Allegra narrates images that combine historical perspectives embedded in an emotional context. She was recently selected to attend the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writer's workshop, and was the 2007 featured artist for the Eugene Poetry Slam in Eugene, Oregon. She is hard of hearing and lives with PTSD and depression.