swilling beer in packed ballrooms,
ballerinas arching overhead.
taina stands rubbing her arms because
we’re all so cold, standing here shivering
in the frigid air. lights flickering & cheap
chairs creaking restlessly under our
weight. mama outdoes herself each year,
inks family gatherings into existence &
we wander to the middle of nowhere;
this time is a reminder of one year ago &
grave dirt under my fingernails, no,
we bury our dead, hissed mama.
I think bad news tastes like the burnt coffee
here. My therapist thinks I should try harder
not to see tragedy everywhere I go.
We are here for three nights and even
that number with it’s windswept curves
gives me a chill. sorry, says mama and I
walk out of the room before she can continue.
by Rachana Hegde
(cc: @ellopoetry, @ellowrites)