& a spiteful overbite,
Mama know not to stay anywhere
men don’t believe in the stars.
Maybe they blind from staring straight
into the sun. Maybe they come from
a language with no words
for light. No matter. She tied a single
pair of clothes to her back & told
fam peace. Yesternight, Abuelo called her
una indita fea y flaca.
He poked Abuela Tina twice
awake to argue whether the child was even
his. Next morn, he tried to take it
all back, as if his lying could clean
the dirt rubbed over Mama’s face.
Mama been had ungrateful men,
begging her not to leave.
Ain’t nothing new.
Sooner or later, even this country
will finger its remorse
the way you finger a fishbone
out the mouth of your choking child.
¿Cual country? Cualquiera. Call Mama
my motherland because no land ever been
matria to me. I am citizen of her hearth.
If they ask what I got in my bag,
know it’s a hunger hotter than your sauce.
Mama once ate a country built by gods.
¿Wanna find out what I can fit in my mouth?
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