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Before Me

Before Me

I sought to find my motherhood,

A journey long postponed.

But emptiness was where I stood,

A remnant here alone.


Silence trembled while air cracked

And trees pulled down to weep.

But on the ledge where clouds were tacked

I found a twilight sleep.


Ancestral streets caressed my feet

Which dragged along the floor.

But up she reached, gave me her seat

And held me long once more. 

Hands glued in a spinning crowd

              One by one it grows less loud.

Together in unison, they chant.

              Memories of voices you can’t supplant.


Skipping, hopping, even walking

              Adults sit in black, barely talking.

We have a lifetime to say goodbye

              Yet still, the distance makes us cry.


“We all fall down,” says the verse

              One by one we all disperse

The beginning of mourning, what we lost

              Forgetting for a moment what it cost


Falling down in a giggling heap

The game starts over and up we leap


We all fall down



She smiles on wash day

Rubbing coconut oil between her fingers 

Massaging my aching scalp. 

Long brown fingers detangle

The knots 

Tugging at my roots. 


But I was uprooted

Lost in the tangles 

Of unheaded hair 

With no heritage. 

Hoppers Nighthawks

I wonder what he has been thinking

After all of these years.

The man in the suit

With his back turned to me.

What was the chance that he’d find himself

Perched on the edge of that stool,


By the Nighthawk painter

Who was up a bit too late.

A plant in a box that can never grow.

Encased behind a glass edifice

Locked on the corner of that street.

Was he thinking of a life to which he’d never return?

The apologies he’d give to his wife,

The jokes he’d tell his friends,

The excuse he’d give his boss.

Never again would he see the sun

As it rose and fell

Over the lazy rolling

Peaks of the city skyline.

The night was his absolute

His fate was final

On the corner of that street,

Where cigars were only 5 cents apiece,

His life became a two-way mirror

And the only side he could see

Was his reflection in the salt shaker.



Christmas Magic

As if by magic the world is transformed and  doused in what we call

“The Christmas spirit”

Where does this magic come from?

Is it in the bright bulbs that decorate the trees?

Or is the secret concealed up the man in red’s sleeves?


Where it came from, or where it goes

The mystery that no one knows.

But they say

Its hidden away

In the glow of the child’s eyes who still believes

Cascading waterfall of light.

Fill my empty cup 

So that I may drink. And warm

It is 

that light that fills my soul. 

There was a glow about that light 

Brilliantly speckled about 

With a smell of jasmine flowers. 

And so I drank.

It tastes sweet, like honey 

it oozes down, leaving 

A tingle on my tongue.

The heat moves down my spine and I feel  

The warmth raising goosebumps my on my arm. 

Dazed and distracted, the cup falls 

and shatters,

The sound tickling my ears, and I fall on glass

With Jasmine Flowers lingering on my lips. 


I the remember the light. 

Dull and gray, 

She spoke out of the left side of her mouth. 

Spilling tea out of her right. 

But she couldn’t speak 

Because of the smoke in her lungs. 

Thick was the fog 

Plainly oozing of confusion, 

Why would flower petals give paper cuts. 


The forest walls will close 

And the ground will swallow me whole. 

Speaking, whispering “babe,

Ven encuentrame.”

The jealous syllables will play

At the edge of my ear. 


Light pours and spills over the edge, 

Too much for one cup to contain


The Taste of Light
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