Isabella Higgins


Dear Dad,

Let me tell you about the world that you have left,

about the fires we have started, about

my constant fear of death. When I walk

outside the house, turn around and lock the door

I adorn myself in targets, for I am a body—

nothing more. The sky is white with acid rainfall

as I tread uneven ground. I am skin before

I am human—I can feel my wrists are bound.

It’s this egregious state of being where I’m screaming

at a wall and although the wall quivers, those old pictures

never fall. So, I’ve taken to the hammer,

ripping nails with fingers bleeding, all while the wall tries to say

it’s my words that start the healing. But it has siphoned

words from you, your father, and his father too, and since I do not see it breaking,

I fear my words will not get through. I am in lock step with people

who have had more than enough, who have had 400 years

of lies to know to call this country’s bluff. I have seen white faces gleaming,

throwing gas into our crowds—they put the stones inside our pockets

and dare ask us why we drown.

Isabella Higgins is a senior English (literature) and psychology major at SUNY Geneseo. She is an avid supporter of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the mobilization and unification of people who believe BIPOC deserve far more. She hopes to study civil rights law after graduating from college.