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A Poem by Julissa

i can’t come up with a title that properly conveys what this poem means to me (or, i have the same hands as my mother)

mamí lines bowls of freshly sliced fruit across the kitchen counter / ready for the empty bellies

running in / bare feet on cold tile / passing her by like shadows / our fingers / watermelon sticky / gripped our barney purple plastic cups / y’all know how kids / slurp / shit / as if they’ve been deprived of all things liquid / we slurped like that / swallowing every drop of mamí’s home-diluted apple juice / she watched from open windows / hips swaying con tumbao / she stacked sandwiches without our asking / knowing our own appetites better than we did / mamí knew what it meant to be hungry / so she filled our stomachs / leaving no room for growling / now / when the hot smell of grass seeps into my nose / i am reminded of all the silent / i love yous / mamí sprinkled onto us like tinkerbell’s pixie dust / but instead of flying / she grounded our roots into soil / and just like the aguacate trees in the backyard / i too have since dug myself out of the dirt / and / even though i have placed myself in another field / i bring you with me / recreating your recipes / that way / on the days my brain swells with sadness / a pair of genes you didn’t know would fit us both / i can eat mountains of sugar frosted strawberries / pretend their sweetness is your kiss / welcoming me back / home

Written by Julissa

Instagram: @julissa_writes

Venmo: @JulissaIsPoor

Please feel free to send this artist a tip for their amazing work.

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