Spend a lifetime shunning the word Nobody. You have never heard it, don’t know what it is, a half-crushed nest of hornets furious. Flight of refusal—no one calls you Nobody— is only ever matched by someone who hates everything you ever represented, not those traits you chose, but what makes you people, folks, fam, love, a pound and a fist bump at the door when you’re greeted by the least of your kin, who have never seen no nobody belted in your seat, clutching the wheel, driving through your hopefully long, well-lived life by pushing you aside, and trying to put you in some fading, forgotten parking lot, this life, was never theirs to steer, an empty car.
-- Tara Betts is the author of the poetry collections Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. In addition to her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets, she has taught at several universities, including Rutgers University and University of Illinois-Chicago. Betts is Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review, and she is currently the Inaugural Poet for the People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago.