After Charlottesville

I was trapped at a dinner party / full of white people / who ate hors d’ oeuvres / they arranged with / military precision / on white china / and over the white china / there was a swarm of bees / “We have a hive” said the Hostess / I thought about how / the bees avoided the people / But the Hostess laughed / and shooed them away / and didn’t see the / bees that lingered / And the nice, white people / didn’t mention Charlottesville / They talked about the New York Times / They ate soggy carnitas / They talked about Africa / without talking about / Her people / They ignored / the Black people / the bees / that lingered still / I poured more sangria / The Hostess said, “Your hair is pretty,” She didn’t know she meant / exotic / That I had cut my dreads that morning / Cut the curls that clung together / The sangria was colored like blood / I was sorry to cut the curls apart / I ate the crunchy rice / while they talked about Obama / The Hostess lit torches to / rid the porch of bees / with smoke / Last night white men swarmed / with torches to ward off the Black people / I was sorry for the bees.


Brittany Lee Frederick is a poet and short fiction writer from Boston. She studied English at Stonehill College. Brittany’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Harpoon Review, Glass Poetry, and Drunk Monkeys. When she’s not writing she’s dancing to reggaeton. Follow her on Twitter @Britt_LF.