The Girl with the Apple

The talk was to tell us about the uncounted
I am the girl with the apple.
Bring sensitivity to criminalized bodies, she was saying
I am the one digging through my knapsack, making a ruckus.
But how do you un-stitch politics from data collection?, someone was asking.
I am the girl who took a second bite during the Q & A session.

“That’s an interesting question.”
Apple juice is dribbling down my chin, down the sides of my fingers.
“Funders have mandates.”
“Funders have machetes?”
Someone glances over, my third bite
bit around the orbit
made a last ledge right on the spine, near the core.



Across from me on the train this morning,
I watched a woman fall asleep,
seated and swaying.
And I could tell, she was used to this
— knowing how not to
let her head rest against a stranger’s shoulders
even as it bends towards it.