I want to paint an image of my childhood home.
Hoping if I can nail this image, then I’d have a sense of where I’m from.
Images pulled together from old photos and half memories
I want to recreate the home that I once knew, but hesitate
out of fear of getting it wrong.
I fear I am working not with the memory of the place
but the memory of the photos of that space and it makes me squeal—
Like how the door did or at least I think it did when I was small,
the shriek I let out when my fat leg got caught in the door frame when I ran up the steps too quickly.
How EVERYTHING was out of reach, and the windows gated with black bars.
The Art Laboe Show from the yellow speaker set booms another oldie but goodie.
“I’ll be waiting for you puppet” kisses the woman in the speaker and chimes in the melody of James and Bobby Purify.
I feel like I am holding onto slivers
of the place where noise always breaks.
They dig deep
Like the house with the palms in the front yard,
its pink walls and popcorn ceilings.
The cucumber slices with limón y sal.
This was before Tajín.
Before we knew we liked the burn of chile better than the tang of salt on our tongues.
Before our tongues were torn out of our mouths at the schools with no space for kids like us.
All that is left is the melody that brings back flashes of the pink house.