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Miss Evelyn of Carson, California 

Inspiration for Unzipped

In my mother's kitchen

beside the pot of hot oil

you tell me stories.

In your black chiffon dress 

you wait to be seated.

You drench the chicken.


Your heels grind into the wooden floor                                            and crunch corn flakes.

"Excuse me."

                                         "We don't serve you coloreds," they say.

You think of your mother


losing tears

on a hot iron                                                                                                             oil splatters.


You feel her iron inside you

burning open your mouth

to share a story.


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