i could have been a child still waiting

— Alfredo Aguilar

for my parents to return.

a child who knows the embrace

of their parents best when wrapping

their small tongue around

their names. who has a photograph

they can point to & say

there, there is my mami. whose guilt

masks itself as hunger

for all the bodies that were swung

into the clouds. who says once, i gave

the night all of my tears & I have not seen

my mother since. who never learns

to stop looking up into an echoless

sky expecting an answer.

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