Once, my mother dropped a Roomba on my head
and said, “I wish you were a boy.” A decade later,
I respond, in a whisper: “I wish I were a boy, too.”
I don’t think of the faces in the soil,
or the oranges in my pockets, ripe
and bright as the storm.
She, a feeling, dries her tears, when it arrives.
Puddle-lashes: foreign as, We cannot go back.
We cannot return to the Grunge.
Magnolia portoricensis, evergreen sending seeds
all over america. All throughout the city a million
children think they know their names.
Ha finds Pipi Longstockings
In a black and white pothole. She runs.
Gets a tin can, then scoops herself out.
How I have only witnessed white
women die & return to haunt as ghosts. How ghosts can only
be white.
There was the way you said turmeric,
& how you stressed the wrong syllables
With your FilAm accent.
Consider the way snow fell on the Western Front: feathered & / indecisive, droplets sprung flat like parachutes & the opposite / of death.
tonight, a girl straggles
below streetlights, the horizon
noosing her limbs taut.
Loving me has nothing to do with a pronoun. / It has to do with seeing me vivid.
His teenage hormones guiding him into traffic / body laying full on blacktopped streets and sure / he was okay but named a foolish boy.
O Nigeria, before closure of a prayer on your behalf, my tongue regurgitates the God given to you.
Agadez, edge of the Sahara, water touching lip of modern-day Brass. In the dizziness of time, they heard it
When I am this / I am no man / you have ever known / Lucifer’s mistress / Bitch boy / Twisted
Babe sneers & I bind my hands— I refuse to use them for this. Babe, tear a hole through me, pull out all my ropes of blood.
Which one of them asked? Can I touch
your pecs? Was it night curiosity
pumping him full of bravery?
the first time you punched me in the face, I couldn’t fold your towel / fast enough. deliberate stupidity, you called it.
Scar is my favorite Disney villain:
a matriarch in his step,
moths netted in his voice box.
ladies in the church used to shout, “praise!
praise your holy name God! i don’t need
no rocks crying out for me!”
all wrath and no god. The kind of look that has no heroes, only martyrs and the things they die for. This is the moment, library of everything you did not escape and one girl ready to destroy it, I’ve wanted this
At last,
I’ll look as good
as the personality
I’m known for,
dynamic
and determined.
Bill moves out a few months later—moves someplace closer to her work. The night before, we drive down to the beach to wander on the bike path. Watch moths dance in orange lamps then disappear from view. I watch her hair catch the light, hold it close, let the beams fall in the sand.
He seemed to reach the moon with his laugh. / My abuelo was the true poet: the way / He smoked his cigarette on the porch like a train
a couple keeps kissing / stopped by the old wall / too many palm fronds / and slicked back movie hair / and they don’t know
tell me about your day / mariana / about the song you shazamed / on the grocery store radio / the spilled bottle / that soaked the concrete floor / in a color / you called cerulean
All love is conditional. The issue with love in the nuclear family is that this conditionality is constantly denied as it is reinforced. It confuses the ‘loved’ and the ‘lover.’
ive spoken to the surfbird, los arboles verdes, con los coyotes, with los elk in return they said listen
The telephone rings at three in the morning, the receiver shouts into my mother’s ear: Papá esta muerto!
I have too much good in me to want the police officer’s gun but I imagine becoming my visions and then again what good would that do and then again why do I have to be good?