For Some of My Cousins… Who’ve forgotten They Aren’t All White by Sarah Frances Moran

When I was 16 my mother bought me
some Nikki Giovanni poetry books for Christmas.
Later that day,
when cousins arrived, one asked me, “why are you reading
that nigger shit?”

Fast-forward fifteen years and I see second cousins
who will tell you they don’t like Mexicans or without realizing,
they don’t like a quarter of what makes up their whole.

When my grandmother was a child she’d go with her
family to the local Pharmacy where she could purchase
an ice cream cone,
but had to eat it outside.
Mexicans weren’t allowed to eat their ice cream next
to the white kids.

You can live in the suburbs surrounded by every other
white family afraid to live in close quarters with the “coloreds”
you cannot move the Mexican out of your blood.
It sits there inside you and it holds the cells of the ancestors
who sat outside to eat their ice creams. Who picked cotton and
crossed a border you’d vote to close down.

The same blood of the grandmother you cherished. The one who
spoke English but could put the fear of God inside you with Spanish.
Who made sure her children got an education and who worked
relentlessly to build a life here in a country that stills views non-whites
as second class citizens…. was passed down to you.

Yet you relentlessly fuel this pro-white rhetoric.

That Davis bloodline is not strong enough to eradicate
the Almendarez that courses through you.
White power is a façade.

Your blood is tainted.

Remember Frances’ smile
every time the hate drips out of your mouth.

Remember you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for
homemade flour tortillas
hands roughened by fields of cotton
love that crossed the color lines
Mexican bravery and resilience.

Remember that
you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her.

Jihadi John and the Juggles of Jingoism by Sarah Frances Moran

We juggle jingoism with all the
fervor of an amateur jester and all
of the lacking substance adding orange after orange
until all the
oranges fall.

Jihadi John fell and tumbled
and rolled until he found himself
in the exact place we created for him;

stuck somewhere between a desire for acceptance
and the constant questioning of his intentions.

Now he spends his time juggling lives,
using James, Steven, David, Alan, Peter, Haruna and Kenji’s
heads   to replace
the oranges that have all fallen away;

and we say silent prayers whispered softly
into the ears of different gods
pleading for replicated peace and resolutions;
that will never come inside this narrative of jokers
fighting to see who can be the most entertaining
to the king.

Jihadi John will fall and he will tumble
and he will find himself rolling onto and with the
path we created for him and for ourselves.
A path that does not contain any true king’s court.

We can whisper the sweetest prayers,
leave the softest breath against the hairs of the necks
of every god
and still
we’ll stumble,

all across the fallen scattered lives of those we
couldn’t afford to let go and couldn’t bare to accept.

Our jingoist juggle of ideology is our most lethal trick.

If these false kings find it entertaining,
it merely means we’re amusing fools.

After Party Pro-tip by Sarah Frances Moran

Some people waste
a lot of time
with Jesus’ name in their mouth

I’d be offended
if folks were constantly hating on people
in the name of Sarah

Especially when my doctrine
is so blatantly based on love

1 Corinthians 13

Is it reading comprehension failure
or oblivious blind following?

Either way,
I have an After Party pro-tip.

keeping the man who you believe to be
the son of God’s name
from spewing from your mouth
as you declare your detest of different types of people,
might be wise.

When you drive up to the gates.
Knock on that door.
Ready to throw down and chill with the almighty
of this all

The reception you receive
might shock you.

You might find
The party doesn’t include you.
The refreshments warm
and the bumping radio stagnant.

You might find
that Jesus doesn’t
have a beer
shoot tequila
dance or karaoke
with fear feeders

You might find
That the effect of your detestation
Has left you…


Exculpate by Sarah Frances Moran

I was reading an article in the Times about how the Chicago Archdiocese had released decades worth of data detailing sexual abuse against 36 priests. The data showed astounding support from parishioners for the priests when allegations of abuse were made public. They felt like it would hurt the church and community. It astounded me that any support would be offered when someone had abused children. I found it to be the most shocking part of the released data, that the priests were so valued.
Sarah’s aim is to poetically fight for love and harness the type of tender violence needed to push love forward.  She strongly believes that words have immeasurable power.  She’s been published in The Boston Poetry Magazine, The Bitchin Kitsch, Digital Papercut, eFiction India, Harbinger Asylum, Silver Birch Press and more.  You may reach her on her website at