la comay comes back

by Raquel Salas Rivera

Raquel Salas Rivera

asking what we were doing at school,
what we were doing at the beach, what
makes our water, if it has sharks,
if we really know how to swim.
she goes cuakcuak,
laugh, she commands,
and she laughs for me when i stare
at her without opening the mouth to this heart.
her laughter, like tall grass in a lot,
reaches my throat and drowns me.
her laughter, like a dump,
drowns my lungs.
her laughter, like an ancestor,
breaks into my prayers and says:
in this house we don’t want fags.
in this house we don’t accept enemies
of the people.
her laughter, plaza gossip,
pastor’s speech,
paternal punishment in maternal box,
raises my terrors, its best furniture,
in a living room where each afternoon she interrogates,
where each night she watches,
mayagüez panopticon.
la comay comes back to an outside town,
to funerals of friends of friends of friends.
no one sees her face, but
we find it alright
when she laughs so sharply
it sounds like sobs.

Last updated November 07, 2022