Updated: Dec 9, 2022
By Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez
Our tongues were barely sweet
save for summer banquets of condensed
Milk and ripe mango
magic. I inherited a mestizo nose
But she rhinoplasticized hers
at sixteen, asked if I wanted one too
When I came of age. We share
blurred brown eyes, slender wrists, chemical
Imbalances and a belief
that the ones we love will leave.
We find softness now
in tulip gardening, our hands dirty
For beautiful purpose. Together
we can make something grow
That isn’t hostile or burnt. I don’t mourn
the passage of time, satisfied with aging.
She is too, grateful to parent
a grown-up. I love my mother
But I bear the aching
she planted in me, rooted by the
Matriarch. Generations of pulling
others’ weeds, neglecting our own.
We are exhausted
women wailing with ugliness. I resent that
I am my mother’s daughter
but it’s not all her fault. There are things
I cannot write,
too many people are still alive.
Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez is a Latina poet residing in New York City. She works in narrative strategy at a social impact agency, and as Social Media & Membership Manager for Brooklyn Poets. Her work has been published in Wax Nine and Fahmidan Journal. Paula tweets @paulagilordonez. Find more of her writing at www.paulagilordonezgomez.com.
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