Comin’ From Where I’m From

by Lydia Flores

119 & Lexington

corner store and PS 7

boys on the block playing

dominoes and seven-eleven

wait for the crossing guard

your ethnicity your passport

go beyond the border

yonder, the sea to

where Puerto Rico

opens its arms and

learns to let go of its

children too early. We

bodies are thick with sorry.

Central Park greenery

tainted with that sour

that loud—weed

roots of my hair

 like seaweed, nappy

and snatched back into

a Brazilian— weave through

bones of slavery skin

carrying mama— whelps

gave me something to cry for

nights of a moon in waning gibbous

phases of an absent father

brown paper bagging it

sandwich wrapped in foil

school lunch south counter sit in

yellow taxi cabs metered

body heated weeping on

the casket of Sean Bell

ringing in my ears sirens

of ambulances carrying

every, body that is too mine.