Volume Two, Issue 3

Compared to What

Malaika Favorite

He has not convinced me to eat his words
I am not hungry for peanuts
Though many think, I am an ape
Look at me, yes, I am dark
but my hair is not straight

Some say I lack intelligence
I don’t know enough to tell the zoo keeper
To stop throwing peanuts
I eat them sometimes
It amuses the children

They enjoy watching me eat
I observe them in their wide cages
With winding paths that end in me
Today’s lunch is banana
He spells banana for me

I do not eat his words with greed
Children throw a barrage of peanuts
Yelling: make a face, make a face
Some laugh at my habits
They think I am in a cage

To be stared at, a target for peanut shells
They don’t understand
My silence is the rage
Building in my torso
They worry I will break out and run

After them, grunting,
moving fast on all fours
I am not hungry for peanuts
They walk up and down their wide cage
Laughing and mimicking my expressions

My cage is small and fake
A landscape carved
to look like a kingdom in a forest
Their cage is wide and long
Carved to look like a city in a jar

Malaika Favorite "I am a visual artist and poet. I won the 2016 Broadside Lotus Press Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award for my collection, Ascention, published in 2016 by Broadside Lotus Press. My publications include: Dreaming at the Manor, Finishing Line Press 2014, Illuminated Manuscript, New Orleans Poetry Journal Press, 1991."

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