When I was a boy
my father took me to see Gargantua
at the circus. He was in a glass cage.
He ate lettuce. He was surrounded by gorilla feces.
My father looked up—he had hoist me on his shoulders—
and I was rubbing the head of a black child whose father had
hoist him. Vertical integration. We mixed with
colored people in public. At the circus.
At parades. At public events. The schools
were still segregated so we had separate
but equal spelling bees. My father took me
to the state finals because he wanted to see
House of Wax in 3D.