by Alan Chazaro
I’ve learned how to go unnoticed
on BART. It makes me wonder
if my physiology is false because I don’t
know how to trust anymore.
The Ashby station teaches me:
everything can be derived from a backseat.
After I’ve been engulfed, please
gift my wreckage to the sky.
I am an accident
of myself, a crashing land-
scape of tie-dye and blunt
smoke. I am the brown
bandana knotted against sweaty
forehead, a sun-
bathing nude. I am the flowers
and purple-shaded vision. Free me
from what is false. I lick dirt
and smile. This is
why they came, isn’t it? I am history
and heritage. There is gold
rushing my veins, immigrants
clamoring in skulls. Sift
and whirl me in your palms,
just like you imagined.
Alan Chazaro is the author of This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). He is a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley, a former Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco, and co-founding editor of HeadFake, an online NBA zine. He chirps about Mexican memes, the Golden State Warriors, and Bay Area rap on Twitter @alan_chazaro.
These poems are from a forthcoming chapbook, Notes from the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge, which focuses on place, identity, gentrification, and cultural resistance, based on Chazaro's upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each poem is written through or in response to the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, which was dismantled in 2015 for a new one to be built.