In the grey and confined safety box hidden in the downstairs office
Lives my other father.
Tucked away under passports
That only have one stamp,
And wills that need to be changed,
As my possible replacements have all died four years ago,
The annulment of a naive suburban eighteen-year-old girl remains.
Meticulously moved to cover her past
I’ll never know
I read: Donna M. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
The name and life of my Mom legally erased,
But desperately imagined by my fingertips that trace
Her foreign last name.
I perfectly place papers back into the specific space
In our history they hold,
Re-bending and re-building the facade.
I am apprehensive of shattering the microscope
I view my Mom through.
With this tepid abandoned paper
Now dripping with my uncomfortable sweat,
As it disrupts
My lack of secrets that need to be locked away.
Thick mahogany bookshelves, filled with familial photographs
Of great-grandfathers I’ve never met
And books of the Bible spread like a preacher
Changed the trajectory of their life to interior designs of
Overflowed and magical offices,
Line the white wooden-paneled walls.
As I step into the fluorescent-lit cream colored hallway,
With white walls covered in antique gold-plated religious artwork
Bright enough to distract an immature child from finding
The safety box hidden on the highest shelf of a closet filled with old, Cuban cigars,
I ask my Mom anyway.
My dry armpits, feet, and palms want a lie but,
I know a first love cannot be forged.
No air to choke around
Because my Mom has already claimed it to be hers,
She procrastinates her reasoning
Saying ‘not now.’
I don’t dare speak, but I question the reality of my Mom knowing me
Since I came into this world, bloodied, beaten, and swollen
While I have yet to learn the secrets she whispered in smallest hours
At summer camp, or what the hair color was of the first person she loved,
Or even what she sounds like when she sings.