remembering again again again

remembering again again again

February 28, 2022.

_______

the recruiter asks me

the following

“Why are you considering this part-time job instead of a full-time career?”

her words cut

mile sized ruins of sorrow into my enormous heart

a statement masqueraded as a question

of

my

potential

productivity

worth

am I projecting?               absolutely not

her frown when she asks

tells me all I need to know

as if a part-time job is less of a career

i will tell a friend

and I am not sure why

I cannot admit to him

or myself

how sad her question makes me?

there is no professional response to this inquiry

but I desire time to pursue creative work, to write

she will nod and remark

how I should pursue a career

instead.

I will no longer want to work there

dare I tell her about the craters of depression or

how there is nothing to point to,

to say,

this is it, this is what aches

ouch

yes, right here, this is where it hurts sometimes

how I loved fireworks and now I cannot handle the sound or

how my body just doesn’t work somedays

and I have no choice but to listen

dare I tell her

I was not like this before

dare I tell her

that everyone needs to be handled softly

dare I

tell her

that I am still trying to make

sense

of

the piece of myself that was stolen

between the United States and Mexico

insidious

dare I tell her

I no longer believe in borders

insidious

a simple Google search of

my

first name, last name

would inform her

that the answer to her question is none of her fucking business

dare i

mention the word disability

reasonable accommodation

dare i

grieve

adrift fragments

of time, stability, confidence,

possibility

to have the idea of career

shaken and altered

to be forced to

reimagine

everything that you carefully crafted

perfected

to relearn

your name

your smile

dare i

tell her that I am one of the lucky ones

there is no such thing as self-care in any toxic environment

that it is always better

to

get

out

{it is always possible}

a timeline

of a year to ask for help

two and a half to hear my voice

I sound different

i think?

I can’t

remember

three to trust

that I

will never betray myself again

whether I am at the table

or outside the building

by ever believing in America

insidious

in my lovely little hands

almost

four years to hold healing

to forgive myself

for not knowing what I know now

four to feel safe in my body

to walk outside

four years

to walk home alone

in the dark

in my lovely little hands

to

think

if I ignored denied discounted

the grief would just

poof . disappear

yet you cannot extinguish grief

rest

hold hands

let it visit you

often

on cloudy Monday mornings

on sunny Tuesday afternoons

in the shower, the mirror, at the park

the local coffee shop

when you least expect it

rest

until

you taste your name in your mouth

introduce yourself

again again again

one more gin

there is apple juice in the refrigerator

house shoes by the door

a hook to place your keys

frames to hold your love

D’Angelo on your stereo

open the

windows.

one more

again.

in my lovely little hands

I

discover

vulnerability

softness

gentleness

there is rosemary in my backyard

pigeons on my doorstep

did I tell you

that I watched the sunset the other night

did I tell you

that I felt the grass on my feet

did I tell you

that I fell in love with the full moon

that I saw

the stars

they were

absolutely

beautiful

I wish you

could have sat

next

to

me

I am rebuilding

Tianna

with ink I write myself love letters

on wide ruled notebook paper

instead of a dot over the i

I draw a heart instead

I am rebuilding

my name

I am rebuilding

my narrative

I am

remembering

Mexico

no one asks

not because no one wishes to know

but because

there is no space for grief

no space for me to tell you

of the sunsets in Ciudad Juarez that reminded me of cotton candy

the pozole on my tongue on rainy Friday evenings

the parking lot where I met a puppy

that I call mine

where she rescued me

again

and again and again

La Ciudad de México

blue walls in the neighborhood of Coyoacán

Paulo, the neighborhood florist

his embrace on Sunday mornings

hands wrapped in eucalyptus

that I still put in my shower

there are pieces of myself that I sprinkled all around the city

I would tell you

of the morning at the coffee shop

a new friend leaned over and asked my name

I wrote my WhatsApp in his book with a wooden pencil

he is still my friend

do you know what it is like?

to meet an angel with a book in his palms?

200 pesos for two cappuccinos

mezcal on Friday evenings

an umbrella for the rain

I still think he is

an angel.

remembering

I would tell you

of the night

I woke up to tenderness at 4:56AM

neighbors falling in love

a Spanish love song

Amor Eterno by Rocío Dúrcal

serenading the neighborhood for hours

it took weeks to find the song

until my neighbor played the song on repeat

two months later

Shazam finally working

this one of my sweetest memories

tu eres el amor del cual yo tengo

I would tell you

of the ice cream shop

rainbow sprinkles dancing

chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream

jogging down my elbow after a hard day at work

I would tell you

about

the mariachi band playing across the street

around the corner

I always thought of these nights

as a surprise living room concert

on my couch I closed my eyes

and fall asleep with the neighborhood

remembering

Frida’s garden is beautiful

I would tell you of the plastic chair

near the coffee shop in the back of the museum

where I wrote some of my best poetry

the hummingbirds

and wondered how she ended up with diego

remembering

the car wash that became a taco spot at 12AM

my neighbor’s four-year-old daughter

the artist

drawing hearts and smiley faces into the dust covering my car

I purposely left my car unwashed

everyone needs a canvas

I never had the chance to tell her thank you

hoping

whoever owns the car now gazes through the sunroof

daydreaming

at the stoplight, of course

fiery seats on a cold morning

the man juggling tennis balls at the stoplight

remembering

the grandmother’s hands

how her voice shook

violently

when she said her daughter’s name

19 years without a hug

and now she’s on her way

to America

the abuelitos on a Thursday morning

the woman who asked if I was Cuban

because I looked like her daughter

the smile of a child requesting a visa for a family trip to Disney World

remembering

how the undercurrents of privilege, power, classism, and anti-Blackness

exist everywhere

despite the fact

that people are the same everywhere

doing the best with what they have

if only we had the resources that we need

how important it is to just be kind

we all need a little bit more

grace

I would tell you

of the cologne floating under the visa window

how the creases and texture of one’s hands tell countless stories of a life

the smell of paint in my art room first thing in the morning

the 12 seat Japanese restaurant in which I sought refugee

and a warm meal

I would tell you

how Spanish still lingers on my tongue on Friday nights

the nostalgia on Sunday mornings

the little girl at the park who became best friends with my dog

smiling, running down the street

together

I would tell you

I would

share

I would tell you of all that I thought I lost

and

how

my heart feels whole again

I would tell you

i am the love of which i have.

-fin.

Amor eterno- Rocío Dúrcal

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