Published on December 20th, 2017 | by Viktoria Valenzuela4
We Used to Say, Aww, Hell—We’re Young: POEMS
We Used to Say, Aww, Hell. We’re Young.
Remember the day we met?
The newborn scent of singed hair
and how you said for the first time ever,
I was birthed of your own winged ways.
Sacred, profane, grackles
More knowable in the lacuna of sky
than perambulating terra firma.
I’ll inhale this acrid light of day;
As savorless as yesterday.
Let the birds gather overhead,
Overcast, overdue, overwrought.
Oh, black and insipid,
I know too well
The ways in which
My collar lifts;
I only want to join you.
Once, we were young.
Sleek and sonsy.
Now, we are aged
Blackened since first dreams.
Mother, unbirth me.
Take me home.
Kindly ceaseless; the first light of day. Warm
radiation on the front lawn. I hold in my hands,
Face of love, our son.
A dew dropped landscape shifts. New
Palm trees and nopal flowers sprout
From cactus beds. I prickle his cheeks,
Neck, ribs. Kisses to the love of my love.
Swaying at peace, we are fallen
Pecan halves resting inside green husks.
Smoothing the blankets between us,
I’ve the milk to sustain the hour.
In bed, I let it be
Even if I do not make breakfast tacos
Whole wheat tortillas are a no-no.
The ghost of our grandmothers heaving with laughter
Remind that all joy is ours to carry on.
The C-section stitches tighten.
I’ve already passed the floor with him
Kissed and given milk,
Held him to my chest, patted his tiny diaper.
He spins in his mother-made quilt as if still in the womb;
Slower steps mean, I smell blood.
The flow of postpartum that comes with milk letdown,
I was built to feed a nation.
Then, the C-section scar itches like a motherfucker.
A two-faced snake lurks at the pubis and fat of me.
The child pulls against their fain
to stay coiled inside me.
The baby sucks at me for milk.
We lie still in the dark until
The daylight hour softens our curves
All other photos are copyright of the author, Viktoria Valenzuela