Hyphenated Other

Latina-American
Identity as broken as the two-part phrase
used to describe me
I need to be African-American because the color of my skin
isn’t as white as the fifty stars on
my flag
They call me Native-American
An ironic coincidence
I dare you to keep distancing me from the definition of
my country
Give me one
Two
Three
Four
Five
Hyphens
Keep pushing me farther and farther away
And tonight I’ll dream of jumping each one like a Lilli pad
I will not wake until I am American American no hyphen needed
I exist
My voice
Exists
And I won’t stay silent
Because my flag waves for me too.

Holy Crossroads

Meet me on the corner of grey and obsolete so I can teach you how to fade.
I’ll teach you to let moon dust collect in the folds of your hair
the pockets of your clothes
You’ll learn to let oblivion turn to black
turn to an emptiness that rests its soft, silver head on your chest.
Remove your robe of memories
strip regret from your silky skin
set fire to your bondage
Only then can you close your eyes
only then can you dissolve into air
Wait for your son to join you at this holy crossroads
and you’ll walk hand in hand into the dark.

To Love You More Than Lilacs

I love you more than lilacs

despite the purple flower petals

you’ve branded to my skin

because you don’t know how not to hit and squirm

Brown and Blue tender petals on my stomach and

arms and hands that wince to the touch

but they bloom not out of hate

your laughter pierces my ears

decibels of pain as

spasms contort your

beautiful

body, but you point at the flowers all the same

with those chubby fingers

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Good Friday in Juvie

 

for Wyatt

The rocky ground bores holes in my tender feet as I march to the hill
my cell of concrete less forgiving than a bullet shooting through my chest
Jesus they mocked you too, and spat sharply on your beautiful face
smack the tears off of our stinging cheeks
I taste the metal blood dripping from the thorns of your crown
Our families turn the other way, denying our pleas our cries
my begging
we bleed hot despair
vinegar rips the flesh of our mouths
and our ears when they call us criminals
as if our mistakes imprison our ability to love, to regret
forgive them, but
how
can
they
not
know
that I tremble from the heartbreak of abandonment
the world long ago ceased to claim our toxic existence
but you, Lord,
You will rise from depths that pin me down
and suffocate my thirsty black lungs
the only hope
that I can grasp
through the cuffs that bind the bones of my wrists
that I can see
through the assertive silver bars separating me from my humanity
Save me
because no one else will
because I can’t drag my cross much further.

the pursuit of certainty

She prays
“Instill in me the reassurance
of a tomorrow
let me fly away in the wind of Your
sweet breath
delivering me from the worries of yesterday
and make possible the
impossibility
of a happiness once promised

“Collide with me a love of this life
that I may hope for love at all
grant me please I beg you
the strength
to turn the pages”

Cerulean Beauty

water recedes like
my hairline
waves cover me and tuck me in, keeping me
warm
through the night
my mother
used to pull the blankets up.
the marbled surface reflects my aged skin
the teary grey
my eyes
if only my day’s pages rolled across this frothy book
like the waves pass on
Infinitely
but alas I walk my last days on this sand
and I cry with the ashen birds that call in the sky

Tan cheeks match the safe shore
the sea foam
her hair
the flight of the gulls is her laughter
Soaring without
Inhibition
blue sea glass reflects
Majesty
in her eyes
her soft hands are weathered by the wind
and I hold them like the
horizon holds my gaze
but alas the current will take her
even if her cerulean beauty is never forgotten

 

El árbol de oro

Más allá de la manera correcta y la única manera de vivir
Es un mundo de oportunidades
Y voy a vivir allí algún día
Cuando mi alma está cansado de este lugar

Vivo una vida buena
Sé que estoy fatalmente enfermo
¿Pero no es todo el mundo fatalmente enfermo
si no puede ver la belleza presente en este mundo,
A pesar de un cuerpo decrépito
O un corazón roto?

Para vivir bien es vivir auténticamente
Como si mañana no es más que un sueño
Y la actualidad se terminara en minutos
Porque siempre es así con la imprevisibilidad de esta vida

Todos los días subo la escalera espiral
asciendo hacia arriba a los cielos
Para una torre que guarda el secreto de una felicidad inimaginable
Mi secreto

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