by Sam Moe

You stir a pot of soon to be gazpacho
gently adjusting stove knobs, your shirt
the color of ashes, we’ve run out of rot
and we’ve run down the sun, we’re not
in the same spaces anymore but you text
me, here lies your hand, on top of a halibut,
here are your knuckles brushing against
a pot of my favorite rice, you ask if a quick
gaze at the gash on your arm sends me reeling
I ask if I can press on your wounds, but what
I really want is to march into the kitchen, know
you’d make space for my body, we’d linger
in the dry storage, me fumbling with the marker
to properly date dried goods, you diligently
counting buckets of violet confetti, apples missing
their cores, a banana so sweet I mistake it for a
platano, and I hate everyone who corrects me
into saying plantain. I get lost dreaming about
my abuelita, who once told me—before she was
losing her memory—that she could never find
a maduro for the life of her, not in the bodega
with the baskets on the ceiling, or the supermarket
filled with fake wax leaves. I don’t know how
to remind her we made maduros together, calling
me mi hija, later I’d become mihijita, emphases
on the daughter, I’d bear cicatrices-turned-
bastidores on my back, fumble my way into
the kitchen at the end of the apartment, near
the space by the fridge where my mother
once tried to host a séance with her sister,
and they started a fire, but no one was hurt. And
we’re all surviving, but still, I could be back
to heat and hips, hard-to-stain uniforms made
of thick black cloth, the mirrors overshadowing
the bar, we could be grand, we could be back
beneath heat lamps as bright and amber as rum.


Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash