my mother wants me to fall in love with an american boy,
white, respectable - the type that will be a doctor, maybe, or even
a lawyer, the type that will give me turkey for thanksgiving.
gravy, too, liquid sunsets.
she wants me to have the wedding in santa barbara -
california, you know, where i was born, where she
cried when she saw the pregnancy test, sitting
on the edge of that bathtub, pure porcelain, where
she learned to stretch her smiles like cloth
pinned to the corners of her mouth, flimsy like the gossamer
dresses she used to wear when she first came to this gilded country,
where she learned to coat her tongue in bloated lies.
california, you know, where the sunrise is blended with
every vile color of the rainbow.
sometimes, she stares out our back window at the
purple hyacinths we plant every september,
fingers curled tight around her cracked coffee mug, and i
worry she will walk across the pacific ocean, back to her
childhood - sweet, saccharine simplicity, like thick honey
clumped in my fingernails.
she tells me we live in a snowglobe
but i roll my eyes and turn back to the american rap song on the radio.
i tell her we should go shopping for new dresses when
i live with my american boy husband
and she hums, says she’s thinking of planting
peonies next september, pink hues.