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Grade
10

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.

 

State
IL
Zip Code
60646