Poetry | December 11, 2020


When I was five, I discovered alcohol in abandoned red cups

scattered about the Green House, the first place we lived

in Detroit after Venezuela.


Dad rolled blunts on a burned-out coffee table while Mom

played with his wiry black hair. Aunt Sherry put her hand

on his knee, slid her fingers up to his zipper.


I went from cup to cup, from room to room

as motorcycle after motorcycle parked

in our front yard.


The beer, a healing bitter herb,

a toy kaleidoscope, swirl of orange, yellow,

and red in fragmented shapes


amid the noise of black leather

and silver chrome. I fell in a slow arc,

mother’s laughter, liquor in my ringing ears.

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