Parched and bare, I shed credence—
drag my molt lace mestizo itch
against embosom, a cotton fetter. You tell me,
Do not sing, voice is a lantern.
You know (to): wrap my wrist with wire
sew my lips. Hum: You don’t know
how easy you got it, Cipote. In July, I stack
empty cans into divots on Burbank Boulevard,
listen to Abuela croon & read indigo—
creased in palm, soles charred by asphalt. Ebon water
stains (our) enamel tub. You pinch me
red from pink, call me half-breed. You say: tell them
you’re white. Hand me my lullaby: an empty room
where I watch crows dance in the asbestos. You ask:
do you see the Maquilíshuat?
I tell you: no & you shove
towels into the crack beneath
a narrow door to smother
sage as it saturates
my lungs. You say: it will cleanse,
till I peer through the keyhole see your chapel
glass stained grey to steal my tongue. Hand me a trumpet—
say: here is your voice, prying
my throat wide for its lacquered bell.