Grandma's Resting Place
Parched, your crooked fire ant fingers
pinch my pupil’s membrane,
break water from its shell.
Sip from my cool brown, Abuela.
Thread my lashes to my brows,
stretch my lids an inch wider--
now a taut, dissected eye to see
with arms spread, legs sprawled
hair twisting through purple azalea buds,
green of your irises floating upwards--
flesh fighting its way into the black of my curl.
Watch me try to wring you from my hair
seizuring hands milk over, under, through.
Now, I leak your scent and it’s like damp wood
but a fragrance sharp as the groove in a carved cuatro.
Can I have a piece of you?
Take your chopped swollen burgundy tongue,
fold it into the longest crease of my palm?
The weight of it will
instruct me to clench your buds
in my white knuckled grasp
as if somebody just called my mother a spic liar.
I will punch through the earth’s bed
you sleep on, tunnel your tongue
deep in this dirt.
Baste it with sliced ribbons from the heel of my foot.
Water it with the love-froth from my mouth.
Watch you grow.
The ends of her curls light like incense
singed smoky wisps, rise from her nod.
Her hands are like a rooster—reddish brown
quilled tip fingers float over me
with a cuckarooed song.
I watch her mouth part, but only hear
the cackle in her heart’s pulse.
Three cards instruct, laid
out before me, each rooted
deep in her oak table
like a flaming flamboyán.
I learn from them: Boys’ prints leave my skin smoldering, ashy.
The cavern I shine gems in, will not keep all tricksters out.
And, I will burn—as she does.