Maybe We’ll Both Live Again

by Adriana Hernandez


There is a poem that asks

what is left, when we forgive our fathers

and I wonder, have I forgiven you

for living, or for dying?

And I worry, what is left now?


You were made up of tattoos

your skin all soaked with black ink.

The last was the great feathered serpent

lining the length of your back,

to devour the name of my mother

behind your neck.


Then we burned your body.


When you were whole

we couldn’t keep the art

that was a part of you,

will we get to meet the people

that got to take parts of you?


There are stories about you

now that you’re gone.

I’m learning more about you

now that you’re gone.


You told people

that you were Guatemalteco,

proud to be, a man of your word.

They told me, Turtle

made them feel at home.


The pieces we share

are only part of the whole.


You promised to keep visiting

in dreams, sweet sentiments and

fleeting comforts that always leave

me crying in the morning.


Stories and ghosts

can’t fill in a father.


So I bite the habits you had before.


The naked part of my arm is waiting

for that great feathered serpent

to curl its body and imitate

some part of you.

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