“This poem is full of beautiful imagery and strong diction. The concentration on Mendelian genetics is interesting, and through it the author effortlessly created an introspective, self-analyzing piece.”
—Shannon Perrin, poetry editor Spring 2016
On this page, I exhibit the fauvist mother gaze
in thirsty gouache strokes that couldn’t be undone.
But my heart hides the aches of a peasant paintbrush
whose meager lines, couldn’t be made visible.
On it, my father’s nose and skin of sand dunes rage
But his warm oasis eyes I could never have.
I don’t allow, not even in my cataleptic jives,
and yet, a ghoul of his stutter lives in my mouth,
clung to my lips, it shines, mighty as keloid.
For vengeance, I refuse to inherit the family jargons,
and yet, I speak the language of his pellucid poems.
I gladly take the scalp, although in his shiny obsidian—
the black of outer space—you can search for stars.
I have onyx, proud and muddled.
Years later, at some age, my daughter will wake up
from a nightmare and searche for a mirror,
afraid that night has dappled her portrait
with colors that vaguely resemble her father.
Originally published in the Spring 2016 edition of The Helix.