THINGS THAT FOLD by Karisma Price

/ / Issue 13, Uncategorized

~after Jamaal May

My father’s voice after the cancer
has spread. A flip phone. A flag.

 George Bush’s hands, as he pauses 
his vacation briefly for thoughts and prayers.

My body next to the potted plant
after my father throws the wooden chair.

A cheaply made chair. A small stack
of clothes. A birthday card.

Milvirtha Hendricks under the American
flag 5 days after Hurricane Katrina.

Her face from the crease
made in her

obituary photo as we use
the newspaper to eat crawfish. 

The wrinkles in her forehead.
Floodwater passing

through a broken levee.
My uncle’s hands

retaping the attic windows
after the flood water rises.

My cousins sleeping
in the attic because

no neighbor has a rescue boat.
Black people in distress.

They lay prostrate and call it
prayer. The blankets on my cousins’

shoulders days later, when rescued.
The National Guard’s smile as he carries

the neighbor’s dog from the flooded
living room. The dog’s body around

his neck,
an upside down flag.