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by Cristina Del Canto

I am bound to her by blood,
this madwoman of a city
with eyes that see,
a comatose heart, with no feeling.

One, two, three hundred,
a thousand —
we are all carbon copies
of her silicone breasts, collagen cheeks
teeth bleached whiter
than the pearls we adorn ourselves with.

I was a child
when I left this madwoman,
mother of my younger years.
I left her
drinking cuba libres,
stirring ice with her finger,
her nails crimson red.

I said, “Goodbye, I am leaving you.”
She turned her face back to the barrio
and said, “Adios, Muchacha.”

Years later, I look back on my youth.
I remember her as
the mother I lost,
the sister I never had,
the woman I was afraid to become.

If only she knew
how easy it was to leave,
how difficult she was to forget.

Copyright © 2012 by Cristina Del Canto

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