My Brown Love Life in the Young American Imagination

This piece is written by Kim Morales, one of Spicy‘s Guest Contributors. Kim is a Latinx poet and writer born and raised in Brooklyn. 

I will learn
how to smack the masa
into sustenance,
re-learn half my story,
sew my mother’s tongue
back into my holy mouth

closer to the root,
he wouldn’t know
the slopes of the cement
the slabs in Sunset

he’ll wash my hair,
disentangle and braid it
try to rub his
front of the land
of volcanic ash
and forever spring
onto my skin–

my skin
is my father’s only legacy
I can keep it to remind me
of what he’d done —
we’ve given up on our fathers,

we gave up
once we realized
we’d never grow wings
turn into butterflies or aguilas
to fly to find them —

I will keep a warrior
he will love me
by a storytelling mountain
that will tremble
while he holds my legs up

you will find me,
you will emerge
from the dense forest
heavy with dirt,
just as bright and fat
as the day you left me
you red-bellied fuck —

you will smile —
your smile was petty theft —

you stole,
you stole away
you stole kisses from me
on curved corners
on slab after slab of cement
in our dear displaced home
of sunset —

you should remember
fuck you
you don’t remember

the dead rat
across the street
we found it
its spinal cord
looked like a marimba
I wanted to cry
when you said
it didn’t belong
and I said
neither do we —

until you notice
my face
the bones
of my cheeks
like the peaks
of mountains
my chin a fault line
my lips soft
like the moss
on the trees of the forest
you emerged from
all your green and red feathers
might fall out,
sharpen and kill me —

my warrior will leave us —

you and I will sleep
beside each other
like dormant volcanoes

until you leave me again
to meditate
under a ceiba tree
and look
for another bird
to help you
move the wind

my warrior
will make love to me
on a bed of earth
made fresh again
by death
until the fog rolls in
and the volcanoes erupt again

but my true bed
will be the one
I shared with you
with the sheets I bled on,
stars from a December night
sprinkled in between
and five suns
in constant rotation

I will not cry again
as much as I resent and hate
the rios whose beds
you carved with your fat fingers
where we have drowned —

I imagine it will be hard
to remember to love myself
and to forget how I’ve hated you

Resplendent motherfucker


Image courtesy of Ally Zhao