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Date(s) - 03/14/2019 - 03/21/2019
12:00 am

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On Anger

By Rage Hezekiah

 My white therapist calls it my edge, I hear

Angry Black Woman. She says, Strength

of Willful Negative Focus. She says, Acerbic

Intellectual Temperament. I copy her words

onto an index card. She wants

an origin story, a stranger with his hand

inside me, or worse. I’m without

linear narrative and cannot sate her. We

perform rituals on her living room floor. I burn

letters brimming with resentments, watch

the paper ember in the fireplace, admit

I don’t want to let this go. What if anger,

my armor, is embedded in the marrow

of who I am. Who can I learn to be

without it? Wherever you go,

there you are. She asks what I will lose

if I surrender, I imagine a gutted fish,

silvery skin gleaming, emptied of itself—

Rage Hezekiah is the author of the forthcoming collections Stray Harbor, with Finishing Line Press, and Unslakable, with Paper Nautilus, both to be published in 2019. She works as an international student advisor at Bennington College and lives in North Adams, Massachusetts.