Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Since Last We Spoke
after Abuelita

Across the bean field
we have bulls, silent as grass,
silent as your calls. My sheets
don’t smell of kerosene
anymore. Thank you
for the stove, lamps,
re-fri-ge-ra-tor, oh
and the TV. I shoveled
the dirt myself when
we turned our icebox
into pots. I planted
the peace lilies
and fancy-leaf caladiums
you like. Dandelions
rule the cornfields. It’s how
the bulls get fat.

¿Remember Doña Chita?
She had the biggest
procession to her tomb,
but I didn’t go.
Talk louder, mija,
my ears are turning low.
You know, I still see you
with your backpack
getting in that van,
not looking back.
I hear it’s snowing
like never before,
year-round. The cashew
and platano trees miss you—
Oh, and your sister
works at the clinic.
She borrows your blazers,
she’s a secretary, says
she’ll never leave me.  

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