* new poem up at Luna Luna

Happy to announce that my poem “Quinceañera” has just been published online by Luna Luna as part of their 3o Latin@ Poets/30 Days project.

This poem is a special one for me. I was allowed to go into what the poem means to me in a Q & A accompanying the poem. Here’s what I said regarding the poem:

What inspired to you write about a quinceañera?

 

The poem had its kernel in memory, which for me is at turns messy and marvelous. My mother gave birth to me when she was fourteen. She left my father a year later. In so many ways, my mother and I grew up alongside one another, surviving. Like most who grow up without, we didn’t know what we didn’t have until much later. One day while explaining about quinceañeras, someone asked if my mother had had one. I realized I had never had that thought, and that, after having me so young as well as leaving a relationship so young, I’m sure she never had the chance to consider it. I felt both startled and guilty as I realized that the struggle begun with my birth continued to that very day when I didn’t have an answer to such a simple question. This is where memory is messy. I found myself writing roughly around this feeling of being startled, of not knowing, until I pushed and saw what I did know. This is where memory is marvelous. I found myself celebrating my mother in the way given me, creating line by line a space where I was able to give something back to her. The line about the “son” dreaming startled me anew when I wrote it because of the permission it granted. It is a memory I wish I had.

***

Check out the poem and the rest of the Q & A here.

See you Friday!

Jose

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