I stand barefoot on the stone.
Blue and brown ocean in front of me,
brown like my eyes, like my skin,
brown and blue like my latin blood
before it surfaces, before it floods
from its tunnel–a changeling, I stand.

My feet are soft like a child’s;
they are not calloused like my
young heart. I’ve lived so many
lives with it, this young heart.

These feet with their skeleton
butterfly shoes of a skater set
beside, ha, a skater that cannot run
but has gotten so far. These feet,
these shoes know the woes of an old man.

My father stands beside me by the
sand dunes, his curls like clouds.
He whispers something my old ears
cannot catch–words, slippery fish thrown out.
I wonder what it was but I need
not ask. He knows I know.

Old man knew what living without meant.
His closed hazel eyes, his little asthma
chest wrapped in a potato sack, sleeping
next to his mother. And I wonder if
the assumptions we make bear the fruit of

our fathers. Assumptions made are the
leather straps that wrap and tug us blind;
that leathery skin, our tongues
lash out from history’s hungry hunts.
I wonder if I stand here long enough,

will I make a lasting print,
a dent on this solid rock?
These were the fragments, the embers
remembered from March to September.
I look at my father and wonder,

marvel at my fractured heritage.

© Paz

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1.
un-birth me mamita linda.
no te quiero ver!

uncover me papito lindo,
pero no, no te quiero ver!

lo que ocurrió es que
el viento me
robó las alas
y borró
el polvo mágico
que me regalaron
las hadas.

sí, las que cantaban
dentro de mi, pero no las quiero ver!

***

2.
i was spleen-size
sucked out, cut clean from
below your womb,
a piggish wad of pink,
red, purple and blue goo–
grey sack you could’ve
thrown out.

seís meses, they said.
young men in white robes
out of universidades.
they probed and probed
and probed you,
they, youthful men
as fruitful as you
but not as torn.

“six months and her heart
will stop.”
too big for her fragile
chest
they said and laid me–
tiny bag of broken bones–
to rest.

un-birth me mamita linda.
no te quiero ver!

unearth me amor viejo, arrugado,
listo para fallecer
como yo lo he hestado.

oh yes, i remember
the story clearly,
remember it dearly.
how many times
hadn’t i heard it?
you’d resigned
dear papi,

already grieved
my death
with swigs
and nightly sighs,
“mija, déjala,
que yo la cuido
venga duerma.
de un modo o otro
uno de estos dias
se nos irá.”

you never gave up
though,
i guess
that’s love;
that’s hope
mamita linda
and i didn’t go.

but you know,
it’s difficult
to cope.
this heart is still
too crammed in this
barrel chest and one
day, someday
it will stop.

for my dear mother who endured all the poking, the prodding and was somehow able to birth me without a cesarean, and for Sailor Carrie

© Paz

*************************************************************************************************

[my lazy translation; some things will always be lost in translation]

1.
un-birth me dear mommy.
i don’t want to look at you!

uncover me dear daddy.
but i don’t want to look at you!

what’s happened is,
the wind
snatched my wings
and erased
my magic powder,
yeah the one
the fairies
gave me.

yes, the ones that
sang within me,
but i don’t want to look at them!

2.
six months, they said…

blah blah blah…

unearth me old love, crumbled
and haggard, ready for death
like I’ve been.

student doctors prodding you…

….

…hadn’t i heard it?
“honey, leave her,
i’ll take care of her
go on, go on
sleep,
on day or another
she’ll be gone.”

****************************************************************************************************

Guys, I was lucky enough to have lived past the six month mark those doctors gave me and have survived thus far (which sometimes still surprises me considering the crazies I get), but unfortunately, a fellow mental health blogger’s little girl did not; she passed during childbirth.  I can’t fathom what that must be like.

His blog is Salted Lithium. Maybe you can pay a visit and show some love. I’m sure he could use it.