indian

 Photograph by Alex Jacobs-Blum

Photograph by Alex Jacobs-Blum

By Vivek Shraya

 

podium mic on
remind them
this land is not ours
heads nod hands clap
feet fixed
are you even in the room?

once my mother accidentally drove near a reserve
the only time i have seen her afraid hit gas pedal
strange to be indian and the sound of car locks
to be synonymous with indians

 

 

 

 

is acknowledgement enough?
i acknowledge i stole this
but i am keeping it social justice
or social performance
what would it mean to digest you and yours and blood and

home and land and minerals and trees and dignities and legacies
                   to really honour no
                   show gratitude no
                   word for partaking in violence in progress


last year baltimore intersection black man
approaches once again a finger reaches for car
lock except this time the finger
is mine.

 

Vivek Shraya is a Toronto-based artist. His debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2014. Both Vivek’s debut collection of poetryeven this page is white, and his first children’s picture book, The Boy & the Bindi, will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2016.