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.

Missed Connection

 

Spoke with you on the beach a couple years ago/ you wanted to know if stardust was sprinkled across the sand/ I told you “yes” just to keep the conversation going/ we both were on page 82 of Norwegian Wood/ I took that as a sign that we were meant to always miss each other.

I wonder if you ever think of me/ I need to find you

Have you dreamt of me while the moon was out?/ ask me for my name next time/ but if I only exist in your daydreams/ follow me home

*still a work in progress*

How I got that long, white scar on my arm

I created you as I lay in bed one night.

Gave you long, golden hair,

With skin so white you could only come out after my mother had gone to bed.

Your cheeks were like apples everyone wanted to nibble on,

Silhouette so slight even your shadow had to struggle not to be blown away.

You filled in for me in all my daydreams,

Replaced my sun-tainted skin and dowdy brown hair,

You could live my life for me better than I could.

I killed you as I walked outside one morning.

Let my mother’s harsh rays set you on fire,

She always told me she loved me more than you.

I watched as you melted into the hot concrete,

Tried to grab your hand at the last moment,

Ended up burning myself instead.

I sometimes look at the scar you left on my arm.

Familiar and Faraway

Palestinian by accident,

Xicana by choice.

 

My brown ambiguity cuts me into rough, jagged pieces.

I complete the puzzles of other places,

Fill their emptiness with my emptiness.

 

My skin is the home the diaspora and displaced search for.

I am your sister but I don’t know your language.

Your hands try to guide me over the rusty wire fence,

Lips form familiar words I’ve tuned out all my life.

I am your faraway sister, and I

Barely recognize you.

I was not meant to be Palestinian until a man

Gazed at my Mexican grandmother plucking Cachanilla flowers

and forgot he had a wife.

 

Their affair started and ended under the moon’s expectant eyes.

As my grandmother’s stomach swelled with ocean water,

The moon’s tide bewitched her across the border, to a city of smog

She gave birth to a child the color of olives,

Not a Cachanilla in sight.

Somehow, I find my way over to you.

You hold my hand as we walk through this place

That my body knows and feet walk with familiarity.

But I cannot piece together the disjointed ancestral memories that fill the space between me

And this place I’m supposed to call home.

I am your faraway sister and I

Cannot understand a word you just said.

 

 

Brassy

via Daily Prompt: Brassy

Screenshot 2017-06-02 at 10.30.44 AM

The letter “b” on my tongue feels like it is about to bring something into existence: to become, to be.

Brassy finds its way out of my lips, caressing my neck

Smoothly arriving onto my ears, scraping the skin off of yours,

I’ve always liked harsh noises.

Brown and Black brassy women grate your eyeballs, burn your skin pink,

Too loud too colorful too confident too big

Even when we are small.

Skin like brass, but surprisingly soft