Where I Enter and You Exit

by Dorsía Smith Silva

My son sees me stark naked / for the first time
and asks me with crisp eyes / what are those /
those are the slim orbs / that feed
you / the ones that your father / used to palm like
silver-spoon fruit / but now looks at / as
ruptured ruins / he backs away / like a pull-string puppet /
like when children played tag with me / no one wants
to be it / it’s torture / like / picking your favorite
lolly / or when your father asks you / to save one pig on
the farm / the rest will be bacon / for breakfast / a backwards
joke / but how / is a child of five / to know better / I cannot
numb your question / wring my mind empty / or / paint
over the walls / of all that is missing / I can only speak of our
depletions / twinned in the backyard / like / flowers
ghosted into spring

Dorsía Smith Silva is a Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Her poetry has been published in several journals and magazines in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, including Portland Review, Mom Egg Review, Stoneboat, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, Moko Magazine, and elsewhere. She is also the editor of Latina/Chicana Mothering and the co-editor of six books.


Photography by: Hennie Stander