Elisa Luna-Ady

my swollen palms come away with rain cried off by some far-flung ocean / i open my mouth to swallow the sounds of my father’s retreating footsteps / when he stops / to watch my mother close the car door all over again / she is always closing doors to men / i see a dewy version of his face through the glass / watching me / watching the downpour / as she starts the car / i don’t wave because i don’t yet speak the language of goodbyes / and my tongue so far is only a clumsy two-language fish / i figure i’ll see him again soon / i tell myself: it’s not that i don’t love you / it’s that i’m still learning to steal grapefruits from the neighbor’s tree / and the memory of wetting myself in your kitchen / for fear of the beating your girlfriend might give me / if i interrupted the afternoon light caught on her breasts / during her nap / to get to our only bathroom / is much too tender today / how i’m afraid of storm-sounds / because they remind me of quiet violences –– / stillbirth / slaughterhouse / the seven stitches across the right side / of my forehead / that have since gone / fleshflushedtranslucent / and healed slightly / though still obvious enough / that if i don’t wear my bangs down / someone will ask me what happened / there –– finger to the warped tissue –– / pointing –– / accusing / and i’ll say i survived a war in that very kitchen / and returned home pinker for it

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Elisa Luna-Ady is a soft-eyed Chicana from Southern California. She enjoys reading texts on revolution and picking fights with people. She tweets @astronomyhoe.

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