Landless Acknowledgement

before we get started we would like to acknowledge that we live on some unceded
bones. sometimes me & mine imagine ancestral homes. all i got so far is Montgomery,
Alabama. what is a homeland for me? maybe a boat? certainly not a country. maybe a
plot of land somewhere so far from the south sides i’ve claimed that i would get lost on
the way. i admit sometimes my homies talk about their families immigrating & i get
jealous. we lost the land we were custodians over before i was a twinkle in the eye of a
twinkle in the eye of a twinkle in the eye. closest i got to a homeland is my mama’s
caucasian pitch in the phone calling the police. closest i got to a homeland is not never
calling the police. closest i got to a homeland is my daddy’s laugh in a spades game.
closest i got to a homeland is my lover’s tongue talking or otherwise. not to be dark but
i am. not to be dark but the planet is on fire. not to be dark but they moving capitals
because the water is coming up. not to be dark but our bones are in that water too.
maybe that’s my capital? once the polar capitals melt & there’s a whole lot less land for
folks to buy & sell & steal maybe everybody will feel a little more dark. will feel a little
more homelandless like we do. why you think i call my compatriots homies? maybe ain’t
no home except for how your beloveds cuss or pray or pronounce.


—Nate Marshall (from Split Lip Magazine)