Alan Chazaro is the author of This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019), Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), and Notes from the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge (Ghost City Press, 2021). He is a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley and a former Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco. He writes for SFGATE, KQED, Okayplayer, and 48 Hills, and is on Twitter and IG being a useless pocho millennial as @alan_chazaro.
Poem on Belonging
SELF-PORTRAIT AS AMERICAN
I say fuck because it feels right about now, and I say love because what wrong could it bring? I haven't shot a pistol since my stepdad flung his Desert Eagle from the bedroom and took us to burst freedom as kids. The smell of sulfur and devil, the pinch of steel between my 10- year-old finger. I didn't seek this, was never good at hitting body- sized targets, kept my eyes shut while I curled the trigger. It's heavier than you think, to hold and re- lease thunder. Not like the movies but somehow like the movies. Ears still ringing, vibrations in my bones.
Copyright © 2019 by Alan Chazaro. This poem originally appeared in the poetry collection, This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019). Used with permission of the author.