The Good Provider

The best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact.
My mother took my heart out.  She banked it on top of her stove.
It glowed white.  She put it back in my chest.

Tita knew that overseas workers often had affairs.
He licked me and I pretended it pinged through my body like a swift idea
That I wrote about and considered like a bell of good craftsmanship.
She also knew that their kids ate better

He said your belly is like a cat's.
He said with his bowl up to his chin
More please.

At night the fireflies come out.  They flock to my window.
I put my hands up against the screen.
I think how fragile it is to be inside a house.
They say I want permission

I paint my face.  I say—just take it.
Easy.  If equally matched, we can offer battle.
If unequal in any way, we can flee from him.

Deprived of their father while sustained by his wages.
I thought a lot about walking around at night.
By myself.  Just to think.  But I never did.
I thought I could just flick a switch.

When I was born, my mother and father gave me a gardenia like personal star.
Don't you hate it when someone apologizes all the time?
It's like they are not even sorry.

More by Sarah Gambito

Toro

I'm looking for the good robin of everlasting sewing.

Easy as a bed to bed.

And his words are mints.

My shock in the ghost of the guest of my boyfriend.

First there is the Father.

He would not like me to tell you about him.

He is punching holes right now.  Saying petit, petit, petit.

Garbled—he can seem like a balloon.  Such a skin. A kingfisher.

We are afraid to touch him.

Like too many nights of touching ourselves.

He might plan to take us on a picnic.

We must be ready.  We must be hungry.

I finished my blue necklace.

She tries to convince him because he was here on earth.

Dad quits his job for the umpteenth time.

I'm wicked lonely.

We are in a department store.

I buy him a blue bracelet because it is right there.

And I would wear it.

I buy it hoping he bought me something for Christmas.

This is never true of course.

We talk about religion.  Of jasper things in trees.

He wears an engagement ring.

I am shivery, full of V-8.

He drinks too much and cheats all the time.

All of whom he left behind in the Bible belt are singing Yes, yes yes

We put our hands over our face, our neck.

We are overcome, saying, "No, no. I can't. I can't."

Holiday

I want to lick someone 

with an antelope for a head.

A whole-person-boxer for a fist.

Circulatory, fruited over 

nostalgia to overcome me like

a truck I'll drive over his body 

while he reaches for a 

telephonic breast.  The way gods 

do when they create 

the first animal cracker

steams of existence.

Fat plant and vernix.

The shattered cursive equations

my love was capable of.

I said there will never be a night like this

How is it I was right?

How fibrous and incidental it seems.

The tiny leather jackets we wore.

What was it about that quality that I admired?

Loping around like a christening pole-cat.

Yolanda: A Typhoon

How much our hands are God’s

to be running fingers over braille cities.

We are this hand pushed through our womb.

Weeping with each other’s blood in our eyes.

I dreamed that I slept with the light on.

I was asleep in my mother’s bed because my father was out to sea

and my claim on him was to feel the frets of my death sure to come.

Sweet, small fishing rod. Ears of wind rushing through many jellied trees.

We were on this cardboard earth with its puffing volcanoes

miniature baseball players and horrible winds

scored by musician’s hands.

Stand in the strong ear of this love.