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Vela Para Mi Abuelita 

Contact my grandmother 
reach past chipping grey cement 
casing bones, she would be happy 

to know her husband is not 
next to her. Handing her liquor 
to slosh spit on his dust grave,  

Culero, wrinkled lips  
admitting his status  

Her bend at his gaze 
her beg of affection, her shame 
when he came in nights.  

The shield the moon held over that

man was nowhere near as impenetrable  

as the one she hovered over  

her children’s faces. Resentment 
for staying, for leaving  
she did not 

wait for my hair to grow  
into trencitas. My mom says 
she would have fed me pan dulce. 

Instead of conchas, I heard stories of glasses

that never allowed her to see  
past a man coming in and out  

liquor glued to his hands 
it would rip skin if you challenged him

away from it. Life whispered into her 

small wind, not enough to hold anything  

of her own. A vessel, 
fill and eject.

I see her in my name 
stumbling several tongues. 

In my mother’s thick hands 

harsh lips and need to fulfill.

I see her above the moon

a collection of galaxies 

I promise to light her altar

candle with a new flame, 

never let anyone  
diminish it. 


Lessearthbound - McKenzie Drake. 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 96” x 48”. Photo courtesy of Mark Geil.

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Rosaura Garcia Godinez (she/her/hers) is a Latina poet from Redding, CA. She is currently an MFA student at St. Mary’s College. Her work focuses on celebrating her heritage and familial bonds. Rosaura’s favorite activity is walking her dog, Shadow and eating sour candy.  Follow her on Instagram @rosi_garcia019. 

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