Down Here

If we were allowed to speak of such things,
I would say that
down here,
a young black man walks down a sidewalk past a sign pointing the way to Acadian Village,
a living history museum,
stepping through broken glass in front of a corrugated metal shack
living a history that no one will curate.

If we were allowed to talk about our experience,
I would mention that
down here,
bumper stickers suggest I pray the rosary and
there is a television station constantly saying the Hail Mary
while I know that
another population sings
gospel
in little churches
next to seafood restaurants
unbroadcast.

There is no talk at the public library
on how they came to live here.
There is no Culture Day
when they all put small boats in the
bayou
and explain their life stories to news reporters.

If we were allowed questions, I would ask
why can’t I hear them?
don’t they live down here, too?

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