In an Exercise to Not Become My Mother
I buy 10 potted plants, only kill half.
I forget the lyrics to Jenni Rivera’s entire discography.
Stand in front of the mirror, look for my mother’s features.
Walk away, acknowledge I will never find them here.
I defy my mother and marry the boy.
Do not tell her and therefore I am not a bad daughter.
I turn the TV off before falling asleep, succumb to the silence.
I defy my husband when he orders clean dishes by the time he comes home.
Pay for it with my blood.
Spend the evening wrists deep in murky water.
Find half my nose at the bottom of the kitchen sink.
I know I will never look like my mother.
I glare at my reflection, crack open my chest,
Inspect for bruises the shape of the boy’s fists.
Flee from him before I turn 30.
Waste a year opening my body for faceless men.
A lump grows at the back of my throat.
I open my mouth and instead of a child, I give birth to grief.
It comes out a head full of hair.
A sharp cry that scares the entire ward.
It looks just like me.