Anticlimactic

On the verge of exploding out of my fingertips

But I lose my grip and the magic drains out of me

Through my mouth.

Making a sound you can barely hear.

 

Almost, but not quite

Has become the rhythm I tap my foot to.

 

Present. Past. Future.

I.

They tell me that my name is Savage.

Their alabaster hands grab at my arms and legs

As they straighten my back and tie cloth around my breasts.

Our contrasting skin colors leave me wondering how to get that perfect shade of

Nothing.

10 chalky fingers press against my mouth to make me forget how to cry

They tell me that they are teaching me how to live in peace

But is this body worth living in

If all I leave behind is an empty bed?

 

II.

They tell me that I was born from the dirt.

They don’t want me to remember my grandfather’s face

Or my grandmother’s spells.

I see their bodies relax when they look into my eyes and find nothing left.

 

III.

They smile when I tell my daughter that her name is Savage too.

Nothing

I am unraveling like ribbons on a ballet shoe.

My skin sighs the sigh it held in for years and hands reach

For the night sky to grasp the sweet emptiness.

Finally, I am nothing

But still something to you-

I want you to discard the memories of me like you would a dirty napkin.

The ripping hurt, I know

Your essence tried to devour me, make me lost in you

Dizzy me so I couldn’t find my way out.

But now

Finally, I am nothing

 

Frequent Stranger

I steal little pieces of every city that I visit/ find the strangest things in the darkest places/ one woman didn’t even notice when I took her good graces/ Took them past the city limit/ Into another unfamiliar town

 

*my attempt at rhyming*

CRISP

Crisp like your breath as you break away from my kiss/ as you pull my hips closer/ crisp like my shirt being torn by your hands/ as you feel what God told you didn’t belong in your mouth

You cry after you get what you’ve always wanted/ forget how to breathe for a minute/ take a shower so your parents can’t smell what you did/ brush your teeth a hundred times to wash away the sex from your tongue/ but every time you close your mouth you still taste me

 

lost somewhere between translation and displacement

I have been removed.

 

My identity displaced,

Lost somewhere in the diasporas of my bloodline and borders.  

 

My right of return has always felt hidden

Behind amy grandmother’s Spanish last name

And the border she crossed to have a child whose father already had a wife.

 

I am compartmentalized by everyone.

Only the sun legitimizes me

Because I am clearly her child.

 

But I don’t know any of her other children’s languages

Or how they make their food

Or how they dance.

 

All I know is that I am lost,

And lonely.

 

Let me be

Xicana.

Let me be

Palestinian.

 

I am begging this of myself as much as I am begging this of you.

 

The colonizer broke my blood into fractions

So I quantify myself

15% 23% 37% 25%  

And get forgotten in the numbers

 

But

I go to sleep, and

I am everything.

 

Broken, lost, and whole,

I exist

In pieces,

Sometimes.

Origin Stories, Part I

Her father named her after the stars in the hopes that she would become one.

Born on a pleasant May afternoon, Star made her first appearance and almost killed her mother in the process. As her skin reddened with life, her mother’s tinged with blue. Both filled the hospital room with screams clinging to consciousness.

The first person to hold her like she might fly away was her grandmother Tita. Tita introduced her to water, who became a lifelong friend.

Star’s first word was cookie, revealing her indulgent nature that would follow her for the rest of her life.

Whenever you look at her, you get the feeling that you’re looking into the past. That is if you are looking at her at all. When she was 5, she let loneliness brush her hair as she watched other kids play in the park.