“Arrival” by Melissa Andrés

Melissa Andrés


The corners of the Terracotta tiles
cut my mother’s feet when she walked 

to the kitchen to eat the most exotic fruit 
she had ever imagined—

tree-ripe peaches packed 
with juices in a can— 

and not the guava 
she always melted for the pastries. 

My mother then placed the empty can 
on the stove, added water and began 

to cook the rice we ate for dinner 
the first night in our new home. 

Those grains of rice did not need 
cleaning, no specks of dirt or sliver 

of rocks to remove, food passed 
down from one ancestor

to another reached us in our hunger
where we arrived, huddled raw

in a mass of the uncooked,
only later to be processed,

stripped and overcooked
to an acceptable blandness. 

from Rattle #68, Summer 2020


Melissa Andrés: “Listening to music is an integral part of my writing. The notes and harmonies beckon words into my head. Like a composer, I turn language into poetry and hope that others will likewise find enjoyment.” (web)

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