by jazmin villegas

In the kitchen I am scribbling an outline of my mother’s hand. This arm moves like a wavelength loosely capturing her fingers. It stops and I go far away, peering at the picture and a mountain range. My mom looks at me and gestures her chin upward. In silent agreement, she is far away too. Her lovely grandma Lola more than twenty years in passing sits across the table. Folding over the stool she mimics the physics of the braid. Yes, four generations over and our hair continues to tie these hands with ribbon. The ceiling fan creaks. Sage smoke drips above us. White breath and void circling. A room is filled with gods, demons, and lift. I play at the crossroads. Neither her memory nor mine fears the run of hot earth beneath us. These feet have long served as tired and calloused prayers to the gravel. Several years I spent biting the summer. It left me forgiven and forgiven. The bed remained warm; our laughter overlapping the distance. When we were that girl, we dug big black holes into the dirt. An oath of gardens promised to meadow us with primrose and marigold. Hers would never starve for sustenance. She would sink no blame in this soil. But mom came out of the world hissing. It was not her fault she budded without the will to speak. Her voice, after her mother, was sitting a stomachache in the throat. She inherited nothing more than a casing of mouths. Maternity birth marked her the ancient dry tug between basin and water. My mothers’ jolt their eyes away from me. They call at the family of skeleton fish residing in our cavity. Your teeth brimming green as the front door. The old tree branched with our child’s arm. Worms are suffocating with her under the pavement. I am forgetting where to come from. Now it is always out past dark. My dear please. Please. Let the rain find us back home.

jazmin villegas (jaz, she/they) is a spiritual eco-feminist pursuing a masters in sustainability management at the new school in nyc. she occasionally dabbles in magic with her black cat named mochi and enjoys writing environmental surrealism in her spare time. you can follow her on x @h3llb00ks.