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