Who Am I

by Robert Sucher


Who am I

Hard teeth in

An open mouth

Loose tongue in

An unseen cave

Black man trapped

In a white man’s body

Graded and patched

Notched, adored, scorned

Ignored for years

Entire years at a time

A window left

Open in the rain

A Vagrant in

The museum

looking for a

Place to rest

Should you speak

To me is that

A question or

Good advice

Being unpacked

should you speak

To me I promise

To lie to you

Often with my

Silence and with

Yellow words of

My own vintage

No one can

Copy my yellow

Words they are

My heart’s farts

Spilling from me

In order to

Or so I say

Keep me safe

be careful where

You look friend

If I appear

On time or late

You may remember

My name or the

Sound of my

Voice blind and

Deaf to itself

I am nothing

Pretending not to

be a fugitive

How much longer

Will you ignore

The truth of who

I am waiting

Always alone

First to be touched

Only by you with the

gentleness of a

Falling leaf

And then to

Be held closer

Than your own

Skin than a

Dying wish in

An elevator at

The hospital

where only I

Have come from

So far away

To be with you

In your moment

Of dire need

That close but

No closer then

dear friend who

Sees me as I can

Never and knows

You’re going to die

Release your embrace

Smile say nothing

Just wait patiently

Until I turn my

Face to you again


Robert Sucher is a former adult school ESL and literacy teacher (retired) at LAUSD, and former UTLA activist. From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, went to Will J. Reid and Robert Millikan high schools 1967-went to Woodrow Wilson High School (Dropout), distantly related to the WI LaFollettes. Studied at University of New Mexico, studied Mime at Ecole de Mime, Etienne Decroux and at Ecole de Mime Marcel Marceau in France. Lives in Los Angeles, California.

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