Elegy for Brown-Skinned Kin

By: Dariana Guerrero

Smith College, Massachusetts, USA

Mama died sometime in June.

That was the first time I saw my father really cry.
It was like he was losing a part of himself,
the part that was made from a ribcage
and banished from the island.

I read my father
a poem by some white lady
because I thought it would
make the hurting echo
to pinprick or goosebump
or something finite like
the flesh of an apple.