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I Want to Remember

Mariel E. Valerio

I want to remember
crawling into bed beside you
the way I remember
reading a poem aloud for the first time.

Remember how my teeth tasted of blood
as I traced my tongue
along each word,
dissecting every letter
before letting them spill and dribble
over my chin.

I want to remember you
as if your body were the machete
my abuela picked mangoes with.
The smooth blades of your fingers
waiting to unleash
flesh ripe with imagination.

Pressing myself into your back,
I let you linger in the soft pink
of where throat meets infinite matter.

Your skin smells of
the dried leaves of el yagrumo
after its rained
for the first time in months.

How I wish I could reach my fingertips
into the puddles of your shoulders,
paint my face
with the earth of your heart
and wait patiently for the coquís of your eyes
to come out so I may catch them,
collect them in old glass jars
and hang them from
the ceiling of my small arms
before making love to you
in the halo of their song.


Your hands trace
the outline of my
thoughts, lips, breath, hips
as though they were sepia toned
photographs of beloved childhood memories.

Every freckle reads like a last glimpse,
every scar a thunderstorm in July,
every curve your father’s favorite
Pablo Neruda poem.

It’s all yours. It’s always been yours.

And as I begin to fall asleep,
my neck drunk on the kisses
of your long black eyelashes,
you cup my face
in the lines of your hands,
settle the wet of your mouth
over my nose,
and exhale all the obscure plants
that have separated my chest
from your fragrance.

Here. In the shade of wilted prayers
and broken bookshelves,
I have found our love.

Que caigamos siempre
de la altitud infinito.

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