She said I’ll be back soon mijo—
but in our windows, there’s still no glass,
when raindrops hit the sill
they touch my skin like her eyes did
that morning. She said
I’ll be back soon mijo.
After the rains, too many mosquitoes
so the clinic sent uniformed men
who sprayed a thick fog
meant to kill larvae.
We covered bowls, pans, pots, and bottles,
then washed them by hand,
but Abuelita still
“accidentally” broke my milk bottle
so I would stop asking for Mom.
There’s still no glass in our windows.
I know she won’t return,
I’ve memorized the names of roads
I can’t pronounce
far from these volcanoes that know
what toys I don’t let friends touch
and in which drawer I keep all the letters
Mom has sent me.
She won’t return, I know,
there’s too many mosquitoes.
I’ve memorized the fog
that touches my skin like larvae does
this morning. Abuelita has hidden
all my letters
with addresses I can’t pronounce
so I would stop asking her
to read them to me every night,
under this terracotta roof,
under this candlelight.