Love letter to the bloodline I have left behind and carry in me.
At the heart of all my research is a love letter to my mother
All my digging a tornado and in its eye a quiet plea:
for salvation like a rescue light that passed over my mother’s blood line,
screaming with drowning lungs a language of 50 ways to say
“I am afraid”
but not one word for “safe”
and none that ever make people listen so
sometimes we scream at no one and sometimes we scream at each other,
grabbing each other to keep from drowning and drowning each other with our terrible weight,
heaving ourselves onto each generation,
alive and not much else
our bodies all we’ve managed to save
apart from the ache of all we have lost.
I come from people who cough up blood to water their young.
And everything grows different when it feeds on pollution
but it grows
sown by parents who give you the best they’ve got which means feeding you poison,
preparing you to live in the world they know.
I am telling this story from another planet.
The people I came from won’t read it,
wouldn’t like it.
would spit my name like a seed,
like a curse
like the answer to what hurts.
You have to see it from both sides.
A survivor here is a traitor there.
You have to realize:
You are not meant to make it out and when you do it’s in a body programmed for apocalypse.
So what do you do with all this life?
What do you do with all this health,
all this space to make decisions and say no and be wrong
and still wake up the same you that woke up today?
What do you do with your taste for venom
with your limbs grown in places no one understands
and the language that no one around you speaks
except the ones who always find you.
What looks grotesque to you is what once kept me alive.
And the truth is:
to live, a part of you has to die.
Your life will ask for your betrayal of the world you came from,
rip up the passport and with it, the first you you learned to be.
Pretend you don’t hear your mother call the name she gave you
forget it so well you wonder what poor devil she is summoning.
I am writing this as much to them as to you,
though they won’t read it.
I am a stranger in a strange land
In a place I’ve learned to want.
I cant show you where I came from
just the ashes of what I burnt.
Just my mother’s love like smoke
my lungs no longer know to breathe.
They won’t read this in the place I’ve left
the place they still call home
where they still call out my name
in a language I don’t speak.
Survival is a god with seven faces
and all of them yearn to be whole.