When the middle-class black family in the carpeted hall
passes the immigrant housekeeper from Belize, oh
that is an interesting moment. One pair of eyes is lowered.
That's how you know you are part
of a master race--when someone
humbles themselves without even having to be asked.
And in that moment trembling
from the stress of its creation,
we feel the illness underneath our skin--
the unquenchable wish to be thought well of
wilting and dying a little
while trying to squeeze by
the cart piled high with fresh towels and sheets,
small bars of soap and bottles
of bright green shampoo,
which are provided for guests to steal.