A Garden of Paintbrushes
A palate of her favorite color: red
matching the scarf
that once was an apron,
that once was a flag,
that once was the sheet
wrapped around her stillborn’s body.
forthcoming in Pilgrimage Magazine
Like Mother, Like Daughter
The blend of Newports
and wine on my breath
remind me of her
as I light my next cigarette.
Holding it the way she does,
poised and lady-like
when she holds court during
unsanctioned smoke breaks.
Curve my left eyebrow like her
when I hear bullshit pick-up lines
or excuses masked as reasons,
talk with my hands
as I spew Spanish curses at
NASCAR worthy speed.
We hold our vulnerabilities
like we hold back our tears,
with purpose and protectiveness.
Smile when we really want
the earth to swallow us whole,
enjoy the silence of solitude
(a bit too much perhaps)
dream to be a starfish
because like comic book heroes
they possess regenerative super powers.
Like the intersections of a Venn Diagram,
we share the shame of early pregnancies,
disgust for tolerated slaps to the face but
today I rewrite the plot of our lives
flicking ashes on the ground
knowing we will be them one day.
published in the Altadena Anthology 2015
Today Another Woman Painted My Daughter's Nails
Today another woman painted my daughter’s nails,
metallic pink reflecting off seven-year-old hands
once gripped my index finger as I fed her 1am meals,
naturally tanned hands disappearing into my palm
when I kiss them good night,
hold onto mine as she climbs up stairs.
Today another woman decorated my daughter’s fingertips
with the first color to adorn her 17-inch body,
fingertips held by another who never contributed
to the creation of my daughter’s perfect ten fingers, ten toes.
Never wiped off tears and kissed skinned elbows
when my daughter thought she was the Latina Evil Knievel,
defiantly zooming down hills on her scooter screaming,
“I can do it, Momma!”
Today another woman painted my daughter’s nails
but tomorrow I will paint her future with a rainbow
of my learned lessons about strength that rises after a cry,
the necessity to sing off key at least once a day, and
trusting manicurists who offer more than just pink.
published in Luna Luna Magazine