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.
From Delivered by Sarah Gambito. Copyright © 2009 by Sarah Gambito. Reprinted by Persea Books. All rights reserved.