Rituals

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Issue Twenty One, Poetry

My love

This morning mamá came into the kitchen

and handed me her morral

My love

You dug out an ancestral pain

inherited from my grandmother

to my mother

to me

My love

Mi mama, she has always told me que

las penas con pan son menos

So I make myself a taco

with all that she’s gifted me

inside her morral

Her pain

neatly wrapped and tucked in cloth

like tortillas

Her trauma

encased inside a bowl of frijoles

warm and familiar to the touch

Her fears

inside a glass container

taste like queso fresco

salted with tears,

and fragile.

Searing my tongue

the taste of café

dark and bitter

like swallowed betrayal

My siblings watch as I eat

and steal small bites from my food,

their own fury and pain reeking beside me.

My love,

This, too, has become a ritual

All four of us sitting junto al comal

eating our pain and swallowing our trauma

Like you and me, touching each other’s feet in bed

Or you and your lover, dancing to your humming lust.

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