If my mother were here, she would have said.
This is not my daughter, this is not the breath I grew from nothing.
From miracle stories, parables and casting prayers.
I bare my yellow teeth at cameras,
singing hollow laughter to the phone.
Signing aging smiley at postcards.
Strangers are touching my body, walking inside me- sweaty halls, stale soups.
but I am fine in this foreign land.
If my lover were here, she would have said
I know the years have been ruthless to us, scalding our skin like heated
But still, this is not your eyes.
You were warm, with the magical glow of youth.
The ashes on your lids are what?
The accent on your tongue is what?
Your lies tear up to reveal the aching gap?
Is this your American dream?
If my father were here, he would have said.
I rocked the cradle for you; you picked the stars from my chest.
Plucked them for music, for the nights you ached and swore.
This room full of grey pictures, did you go to war and not return?
grief strips you bare yet you will not return home.
if my brother were here, he would have said.
why does your hand tremble like leaves in the season?
why is your face buried in the sink with your eyes falling off the hills?
You’re a stranger yet home is close.
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