A woman has a window in her face: that is the truth. I look like my mother: that is the truth. I want to tell you I am not like her: that is the truth. I am ashamed walking in a woman’s body: that is the truth. I wish to take back everything I say: that is the truth. A window can be a mirror. It can also be a door: that is the truth. As a girl, my mother slept in a shack with no windows and one door: that is the truth. My grandma would slam windows: truth. A mother’s hands are stronger than God: truth. We often use fruit to describe a bruise, like plum or blackberry: truth. My mother’s window blackberried: truth. My mother’s door peached: truth. She loves peaches: that is the truth. My father could not stand them in our house: that is the truth. We had three doors and nine windows in our house: that is the truth. A woman has a face in her window: truth. A father has a window but I don’t know where it is: truth. What burrows is the peach fuzz, he said: that is the truth. I have never been close enough to a peach to eat one: truth. The worst things last on the skin: truth. I don’t like not having things: truth. My father has one door but I can’t find it: truth. Not all windows open: that is the truth. One night I see my father crying in the yard, head in his hands: that is the truth. I make things up that I want for myself: that is the truth.
Copyright © 2018 by Sara Borjas. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
(The Sensitive Male Chapter)
Awkward and dry is love.
A moist kiss simmers as cherry pie.
A peck reddens into poppy.
Several feed like birds in your hands.
The first kiss carries history. The customary roses,
a bouquet received by two.
On the right side of her mouth, she is your mother.
On the left side, she's the sister you never had.
If delicate yet firm, a kiss can resuscitate the drowned Ophelia;
hurried and open-mouthed, moths flutter out of her body.
A kiss that glides smoothly possesses the pleasant lightness of tea.
If it smudges, prepare yourself for children.
A kiss that roams the curving of the lips,
the tongue still tracing the slopes even
without her near is a poet's muse.
When bitten on the lower lip—I am your peach—
if she’s left there biting, dangling, she'll burn the tree.
When she's sucking your lips as if through a straw
she wants you in her.
Never quite touching, sky and earth bridged
by clouds of breath, speak in recitation:
Because I am the ocean in which she cannot swim,
my lover turned into the sea.
Or cradle her in the cushions of your lips,
let her sleep in the pink.
From Threshold (CavanKerry Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Joseph O. Legaspi. Used with the permission of the author.