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By Raquel Reyes-Lopez

For Abuela Chuy

Press onto my neck the longing
my grandmother died with when her hands
reached out for my grandfather, and he was not there.
I want to harbor her patience. Learn how to wait half
a century for you, even though there’s no promise
of your return.

I want to live the remaining days of my life
in a constant cycle of daydreams and visions
where I recall our first kiss. Anchor myself
down to the image of our twenty year old lips
smacking, sucking out the honey in each other’s
tongue, and giving birth to mouth-watering thirst
every time we stop.

Remind me what skin feels like to be touched.
Make me bloom. Trample over every layer, until
my bones become hummingbird sage.
I can only pray the same prayer my grandmother
prayed. For my love to root you deep into
the crevice of where our origin began.
Abuela was blind before she died.
Her hands didn’t know where to reach.
She only knew who she wanted to touch,
and in her last seconds of breath the hand
she touched was my father’s.

Faith guided her to the last blueprint left
of the love she once shared with abuelo,
and my father held her with his orphan
arms in tears. I want to die with a smile
on my face and in love like abuelita.

Be watched by the Universe enough
for it to have me go blind, if you never
return. Embrace my death as a voyage
meant to travel for a hundred years, so
I can eventually find my way back to you,
back to us, back to love.

Previously published with East Jasmine Review

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