The night I follow my mother’s tongue
onto the speeding subway, my own is
possessed by the aged, golden spirit of Mexico.
The same miracle potion Ester would use to send
momma’s smuggled pet Parakeets down the
deep sea of sleep.
New York wraps around me, a blanket of streetlights
as I search the stranger’s faces for my way back home.
A stampede of subway cars gallop past me
and I catch the reflection of my mother’s face
on the glass windows, before realizing it is my own.
I catch myself Mexican, for a hiccup of time,
the way a wave catches itself, before falling again.
From behind me, a boy younger than I
asks “Estas perdida?”1. My tongue dances
Spanish with his, as we enter the subway
and he assures me that train will take me home.
Some stops away, momma would be wrapped
heavy in a blanket of dreams, murmuring something
in Spanish, soft half broken sounds - like the bubbling
of water being swallowed by sand - among them,
my name. In her deep sea of sleep,
momma calling me home.