In Medias Res

Mermaid 1 - Copy

by Raquel Reyes-Lopez

I am afraid of demons, darkness, and eclipses. It started
when my mother told me a story about how my father sold
his soul to el diablo. This is the reason why he hits my mother,
my sisters, because he is possessed.

When he comes home he calls my mother puta, pera, and
puta una y otra vez. Mother says, “In this household your
father is the true victim. We all need to save him. We all
need to show him love by staying, by not running away,
by getting used to it. Mijo, remember love is the light.”

I cannot get the courage to tell my mother I am so afraid
of her and my father. This afternoon I stole the beads
from my sister’s bracelet. I ripped a leather strap from
my dad’s coat while he was sleeping.

I made a cross a neckless for God to keep me safe.
So when my father’s fists strike my mother’s face
I will pray padre santo give me strength to defend
all the women in my life. I am so tired of being
a weak useless little boy.

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