Para Mi Madre
I waltzed with the earth—
every arabesque a golden gasp of breath.
You know the entire thesaurus of
all my battles.
And as I held on to my hurt,
you held my bloodied knee and told me,
“to heal a wound, you need to stop touching it.”
The rived warrior in me
is loose pamphlets in the wind.
tulips softening in the sunlight,
in your bedroom window.
you were born to chase the sun,
not the things that make you weary.
you fold your courage into
pastry shells, and torch them
in the oven along with your
old lipsticks. You chop
dried persimmon, spiced apple,
and pictures of your lifeguarding days.
Our treeless home front
would be a lesser place
without you in it.