The latest in a biweekly poetry series curated by Hanif Abdurraqib

At the beach where the Atlantic
kisses our feet, my daughter
asks me what the ocean will
bring to the shore, like it has
secrets it has held on to. I say
under my breath, probably slaves
and I know this is me at my
most cynical, a trait my child
shouldn't need to be helped with.
I bury my tongue behind my teeth
like so many shells before
me and remember what lessons
I give without ever offering.
On the ride home, after I have
tamed the bark, an officer
pulls us off to the side of the road
and asks me whose car I am driving
my family home in.