• Caitlyn Woodall

movie date | a poem on interracial dating

viola davis is looking at us through the screen

and she’s laid up with this white man

and mine leans over and tells me

that could be us one day

but i’m tired of hearing him breathe

so i shake up the ice in my coke

and go to the bathroom just to sit

in a stall and think about all the things

i’d rather be doing

and when i come back thank god

finally viola’s got snot pouring out her nose

while she tells some trifling heifer off

through strong-black-woman tears

spit flying out her mouth

she tells that white lady she can keep

that no-good

dirtylyingcheating

sonofabitch white man

and i hear someone yell

mmhm I know that’s right!

viola finds herself a nice black boyfriend

credits roll

everybody claps

And on the way home I don’t tell him how I hate hearing him mouth-breathe. I nod when he says the movie just didn’t do it for him. I let him kiss me. I don’t tell him that he’s still greasy from the popcorn. I let him pick me up the next day. I ask him to keep picking me up. I hug his pearl-wearing mother and smell her perfume. I let him pay the tab. I swipe his cards. I get a neck pillow in first class. I let him cheat, but just once. I have doors opened for me, seats pulled out for me. I lay in bed with him like the cower-down, master-pleasing bitch I am. I touch generational wealth. I wear a fat ring. I let him spit on me. I marry him and have his little beige babies and name them Sarah and Johnny and Emily and Timmy. Everybody claps. It’s just one of those things.

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