Here lies the girl
whose large almond eyes
have these dilated black pupils
you’d swore her eyes were black
but they are brown.
She loved wearing dresses
dancing with the wind
blowing her wishes on dandelions.
Her little hands found hope on a stem.
She hopscotched on cracked pavement
imagining she’s in the fields or woods of lush greenery
playing with golden fairies and glittery pixies.
Her grieving lungs blew––
life will be better.
But she froze
laid awake as long as she could
tasting shards of her father’s crack pipe
five years into his absence.
In the night she was ripped open
no escape and no one believed her
she died in nobody’s arms. Years later
I find her
under the debris of collapsed neighborhoods
buildings that once housed first-generation children
the cooking of tortillas tamales frijoles but
are now replaced with white rice and Asian dishes
and great white sharks with porcelain smiles. Still
under the yielded walls and ceilings I find her
I whisper I am here mijita.
––My little daughter inside––
I watched her battles thaw
with the Sun on her fingertips
the stars she blew for wishes
the crown of light her black frizzled curls molded
resembling the moon of a dandelion.
I turn her on her side
pat her back as she coughs up old debris
vomiting up twisted suffocating serpents
hollowed eye sockets malevolent tongues
she’s been choking on for years
(now flap like fish out of water beside her)
She breathes/ stops holding her breath
inhales a newfound trust from the love I give her
and together we exhale
together we breathe
together we walk in reunion
for she is mine and mine alone.
No one can have her.