2013 GUESTBOOK 86: “Birthmark” (by Abel Martinez)


When playground swings
Were still agents of change
And the day still smiled
Happy with a crayon
Yellow sun
I remember my aunt,
The tragedy of days
Weighing down the corners
Of her eyes,
Clotting mascara like spackle,
Damning the memories
That simmered in her schlera.
Her bottled red hair pinched on top of her head
Pulling the lines on her forehead tight
To freeze the youth into her face.
Her lips, pursed and sewn
Together with lipstick
Pumped her voice back
Into her throat.
Her words snuck from the corners
Like curses she never betrayed.

She loved me, I know
As she dug the washcloth into my skin
And scrubbed the brown
To red.
I held my cry,
Being a big boy,
And crunched my hands into
My crotch.
My dark skin
Wouldn’t fade
Into her schema,
I wouldn’t look
Like her alabaster children
Who deviled her dreams.
Her slippery hands
Clutched my arms
As she spit back into her mouth
And hissed,
“You are a dirty boy!”


(c. Abel Martinez, 2012)



About KPKeelan

Fool, Philosopher, Lover & Dreamer, Benign TROUBLEMAKER, King and Jester of KPKworld, an online portal to visual and linguistic mystery, befuddlement and delight.
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