I never thought I'd live this long
and have invented many lives.
I lost my best friend to Aids
and my country to a madman.
I knew my mother had a temper
and learned to walk on eggshells.
She woke me up with espresso
and read to me in bed.
I stared at paintings until I knew them by heart
until they were family, friends, lovers.
I spent my childhood in the kitchen
so I could listen to Belen
and always thought I'd see her again.
I love old movies and still cry
when people say goodbye.
I've felt the breath of spring in Central Park
and walked the length of Manhattan
in the sweet comfort of anonymity.
I married my soulmate
and found the missing half of my brain.
I paid my dues in Bakersfield,
where bumper stickers are stories
and belt buckles, poems
I was the daughter my mother had hoped for
but didn't become the woman she expected.
I saw Iguassu Falls and was certain
I'd seen God.