The Sun and Her Flowers (10 page)

BOOK: The Sun and Her Flowers
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remember the body

of your community

breathe in the people

who sewed you whole

it is you who became yourself

but those before you

are a part of your fabric

honor the roots

when they buried me alive

i dug my way

out of the ground

with palm and fist

i howled so loud

the earth rose in fear and

the dirt began to levitate

my whole life has been an uprising

one burial after another

i will find my way out of you just fine

my mother sacrificed her dreams

so i could dream

broken english

i think about the way my father
pulled the family out of poverty

without knowing what a vowel was

and my mother raised four children

without being able to construct
a perfect sentence in english

a discombobulated couple

who landed in the new world with hopes

that left the bitter taste of rejection in their mouths

no family

no friends

just man and wife

two university degrees that meant nothing

one mother tongue that was broken now

one swollen belly with a baby inside

a father worrying about jobs and rent

cause no matter what this baby was coming

and they thought to themselves for a split second

was it worth it to put all of our money
into the dream of a country

that is swallowing us whole

papa looks at his woman's eyes

and sees loneliness living where the iris was

wants to give her a home in a country that looks at her

with the word
wrapped around its tongue

on their wedding day

she left an entire village to be his wife

now she left an entire country to be a warrior

and when the winter came

they had nothing but the heat of their own bodies

to keep the coldness out

like two brackets they faced one another

to hold the dearest parts of them—their children—close

they turned a suitcase full of clothes into a life
and regular paychecks

to make sure the children of immigrants

wouldn't hate them for being the children of immigrants

they worked too hard

you can tell by their hands

their eyes are begging for sleep

but our mouths were begging to be fed

and that is the most artistic thing i have ever seen

it is poetry to these ears

that have never heard what passion sounds like

and my mouth is full of
i look at their masterpiece

cause there are no words in the english language
that can articulate that kind of beauty

i can't compact their existence into twenty-six letters and call it a description

i tried once

but the adjectives needed to describe them
don't even exist

so instead i ended up with pages and pages

full of words followed by commas and

more words and more commas

only to realize there are some things
in the world so infinite

they could never use a full stop

so how dare you mock your mother

when she opens her mouth and
broken english spills out

don't be ashamed of the fact that

she split through countries to be here

so you wouldn't have to cross a shoreline

her accent is thick like honey

hold it with your life

it's the only thing she has left of home

don't you stomp on that richness

instead hang it up on the walls of museums
next to dali and van gogh

her life is brilliant and tragic

kiss the side of her tender cheek

she already knows what it feels like

to have an entire nation laugh when she speaks

she is more than our punctuation and language

we might be able to paint pictures and write stories

but she made an entire world for herself

how is that for art

on the first day of love

you wrapped me in the word

you must remember it too

how the rest of the city slept

while we sat awakened for the first time

we hadn't touched yet

but we managed to travel in and out

of each other with our words

our limbs dizzying with enough electricity

to form half a sun

we drank nothing that night

but i was intoxicated

i went home and thought

are we soul mates

i feel apprehensive

cause falling into you

means falling out of him and

i had not prepared for that


how do i welcome in kindness

when i have only practiced

spreading my legs for the terrifying

what am i to do with you

if my idea of love is violence

but you are sweet

if your concept of passion is eye contact

but mine is rage

how can i call this intimacy

if i crave sharp edges

but your edges aren't even edges

they are soft landings

how do i teach myself

to accept a healthy love

if all i've ever known is pain

i will welcome

a partner

who is my equal

never feel guilty for starting again

the middle place is strange

the part between them and the next

is an awakening from how you saw to

how you will see

this is where their charm wears off

where they are no longer

the god you made them out to be

when the pedestal you carved out of your

bone and teeth no longer serves them

they are unmasked and made mortal again

the middle place

when you start loving someone new

you laugh at the indecisiveness of love

remember when you were sure

the last one was
the one

and now here you are

the one
all over again

a fresh love is a gift

BOOK: The Sun and Her Flowers
13.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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