“Somewhere and Nowhere” by Anhvu Buchanan

Somewhere and Nowhere

Two roads diverged in front of me and I took
the white way out.
It made no difference.
There is no safety in sameness. No savior
in the way I tried to paint my actions into theirs.
There is no safety in a whiter name so I tried
to walk among them.
To sway like a ghost to move as twilight does
through the horizon.
I couldn’t find shelter in my skin.
I couldn’t find the way in or the way out.
Someone pierced my eye and called it other.
Someone, somewhere.
Somewhere, someone, somewhere.
Somewhere, someone is collecting cans and being robbed,
being hit with brutality’s broom,
being pushed from behind,
being sent out, sent home, sent away.
Someone, somewhere is mocked is taunted is threatened is
burned alive in front of the eyes of a camera.
I am a coffin waiting for my arrival time.
Now, nowhere.
Nowhere to move,
nowhere to breathe,
nowhere to stay,
nowhere, nothing to say
when they buried their words
in the back of my throat’s memory.
Somewhere and nowhere.
We won’t need eyes where we are going.

Anhvu Buchanan is the author of The Disordered (sunnyoutside press) and Backhanded Compliments & Other Ways to Say I Love You (Works on Paper Press). He was the recipient of the James D. Phelan Award and also received an Individual Artists Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. He currently teaches in San Francisco and can be found online at anhvubuchanan.com and on Twitter at anhvubuchanan.