The words are dropping, plums prickly and wet on the book. My father says, good, good, good, before floating into another language with my mother.
Little S had a box. I'm four, two wings flutter on my lap. They dance with milkfish hands.
On the airplane ride: Inside her box was a slithering snake. My mother says, stop reading, you'll ruin your eyes.
His name was Sam, before clicking the light off.
Outside, thick wires squirm on Uncle's house, lizards lift their heads from walls.
O-long-ga-po Ci-ty, says a Coca-Cola sign across the street. Tin roofs rattle. I step on a crack but it's a lizard.
My parents loosen their tongues here, wild and free. Before Uncle sweeps us inside, I yank on my mother's belt loop.
Everything is broken here, I say, a leathered tail in my hands.
-- Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. She is the author of the chapbook, Self-Portrait as Rumor and Blood (Dancing Girl Press,2012). She hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour on Blog Talk Radio. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Southern California.