Illegal Aliens: A Goddamned Prayer for Roma

I can assure you all
that my mother wasn’t born from a nuclear explosion on Mars
she did not tread green slime beneath her, nothing leaked from her backside
on the plane. Mama did not come here with a girl in her belly to earn 225 dollars
a week (What is inside a woman but another woman?) I can tell you she left her elderly mother yelping in bed like a lost animal, and I can remind you that her father fell off of his horse and died on her birthday some 20 years later (She cried into her cake). When I saw Abuela in 2008, she said she could melt into the brush from how much she missed her daughter. She stirred a vat of rice and beans and smoothed down the yellow edges and collapsed onto the wooden platform of her kitchen (She could feel her daughter’s stomach turning in Miami) Mama swims, mama drowns, mama sucks orange from sunsets to keep full. A picket line to Pluto. A chain of white hands around her legs. Mama’s flag stitched into a cut on her stomach

Lizza Rodriguez

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