island

i remember

my mother is an immigrant

when i hear the island

curling her voice

when she speaks to

her mother or her brother

it took them

seven years

to get to america-

they waited

because my mother

and her mother

are stubborn women

with stubborn

hair

coarse,

thick and

frizzy

the same hair

she told me wasn’t

to be seen in public

she spends hours

battling it

but the ends always curl

and my last name

is “amador”

or lover

but texas took my name

stretched the vowels

spat it out like chewing tobacco

my mother would tell me

“this is right”

and I believed her

until I heard a woman

say my name so gracefully,

curling her tongue around the “r”

I knew it couldn’t be right

I am constantly

trying to unlearn

all the ways my mother

taught me

to contain

the waves

in my blood-

the crests of

my hair

the troughs

in my

hips

compass

the truth is this:

when first impressions 

take place in 

a trauma unit 

you cannot feign 

an affect 

the collective result 

of papercuts-

I want to know you 

like a jealous God

I want to give you 

compassion like 

warm honey 

and coarse salt

drenching your being 

blooming orchids 

where your purest 

intentions dwell 

I will gaze 

into your potential 

stitched together 

redemption 

and moonbeams 

I will be

the dusted compass

pointing

 you 

home

carousel

on this

dystopian

carousel

horses and

lions

conspire

to manifest

their

will

unbeknownst

to the bears

whose

paint chipped

claws

shackled, bound

to this brassen

spell

marbled eyes

ache of swine

spinning faster still

pray

one day

their poles collapse

eternal motion

at last

resting

repose

and

fulfilled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

apology

if it pleases you

i would brand
my tongue
with your initials
so everyone would know
where my mouth had
been last
and where
it always belongs

i would rip
every arbitrary
staple
from this binding
my fingers
bloody stumps
but the pages
now blank

i would
waste eternity
adjusting
broken wristwatches
on
aching knees
to erase this
pain
from your memory

i would
scrawl apologies
onto your sky’s horizon
only to
crash the plane
falling to my death
i would
pray for you
in every tongue
in known existence
with perfect inflection
and
all due reverence

(if it pleases you-
only if it pleases you)