Alexia Michelle

now i have all kinds of new shoes
& today a new step forward
that was once blocked by
the snobbish soles of false humility

i walk around the southern city
like never before
because in that house
your pain and confusion had me locked inside
along with my own
unwilling to follow the scent
of a blooming, vibrant green mountain
just outside the window

today i smile in bursts of wind
i fall in love with new faces
sing along to the words of stupid songs
because now i can

and while you made my tears fall
and my bile resurface
and my scars beam bright pink—
i still remember the love, underneath it all

at least today i am higher

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the tomate, chile and consome boil on a semi-dirty stove top
it’s aroma
my version of lavender
i am back in 2005
when the trees still had their trunks
and my teeth were only a pair
i am at peace here

everyone is twirling
picking up babies and children who are still small enough to hold
they are loved and their cheeks are full of water

i am at peace here, like never before
i am in love with everything that breathes
the holes that time made
the slurs slung at me by men i loved
the silence from women i trust
the heavy feeling of a sofa as my bed
a living room as my room
the claims of “i love you” never followed through
i will fill them all with
tomate, chile, consome

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the visage of che commandante,
unifier of the struggle
he stands tall in Santa Clara and is always saying
“adelante, adelante—hasta la victoria siempre”
and across the gulf, they hear him in Mexico
across the Atlantic in Africa, Vietnam, China, Palestine.
He was so loud i heard him one day in the USA
i saw his transmission
the heraldos negros he saw,
the marxist theory he read,
the indignation,
the love
he felt

my mecca was santa clara,
knowing that such a hero is here, resting
and watching over the world
until the final victory—
the torch which was passed on to us

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Alexia Michelle

Alexia Michelle

Former columnist, current freelance writer.