I remember asking my grandmother
why we had roaches.
She told me it was because of
the other people in
the building,
not us.
I guess that made me feel
a little better about who we were
and our role in the projects
in the Bronx
in the world.
We weren’t dirty
Others were.
We weren’t to blame
Others were.
The message rang loud and true
for years:
The differences between “us” and “them.”
Consistently breaking free of
socioeconomic shackles,
my mother’s three sisters and
two brothers ran away from home very
early, leaving my mom to take care of
her mother, leaving her mother to
take care of me
and it’s been quite some time since
I’ve thought about those tiled floors
that blackened my feet
or the wall of lush plants that guarded
the windows
or the howling winds from the hallway
moaning their way through crevices under
the front door–
or the roaches that crept on the floor
next to the cat bowl.
We both played with them
(Our little toys)
They’ve scuttled back into our lives
in a way that makes me question this
cyclical dance,
The semi-circle of my belly
mimicking the trajectory of all of our lives
and I–
I just want what’s best for my kid
better than I had
and then some–


Tiny Kiss

I softly kiss your
little wet nose
gray nose
that matches your
gray fur
you let me kiss
you twice
with my hands
cupped around your
face, eyes closed
then you walk
around the desk
behind the computer
and backĀ again
with all your

beautiful grayness
to say

Comfort of My Mind

Standing on the train
Nary a seat around
Stare at my belly
Wonder if you should get up
But you don’t
Because your comfort
Is more important than mine
Even if universally your comfort
Is mine and vice versa
So I’ve decided I won’t let you
Rob me of my joy
My sweet bundle of
Delicious Joy
And I’ll figuratively sit
In the comfort of my mind–

The Breathing Universe

The moment of clarity
that descended upon me
as I walked down the street
coddled by gray skies
and still swaths of clouds
told me in an instant
that I am still a powerful woman
a dynamic set of molecules
integral to the thread that
makesĀ up

the breathing universe–


In my sickness
I had a vision of my body wasting away
My skin
muscles and
sinking down into the earth
My belly exploding
with her taking over the world
In another vision I’ve still become ashes
back unto the earth
and my baby has burst through
as a pink balloon
flying high into the sky
And then I thought
This is how the universe moves on
and generations die out
This is how we become unimportant
and the young and new conquer it all
But you said “You don’t have to go-
She needs you. You are not inconsequential and she will
Thrive on your guidance…”
And with a few simple, but poignant
words I am back on my figurative
Swelling up with a familiar sense of friendly balance:
My body has not wasted into the earth
My stomach has not exploded
My balloon has not disappeared
and again we’ve become two living souls
in one body
One gigantic beating heart
for the entire universe to love–

Laughter from the Kitchen

Nose running
Laughter from the kitchen
But I’m not laughing
Sour face
You think it’s funny
But last night I suffered so much
and couldn’t sleep for hours
Your sudden joy
a desecration of my wasted time
and hot

Little Foot Little Hand

A little foot?
Or a little hand?
I felt you kicking today
in a place that was different
Far away from my stomach
so that I know it’s little you
Little foot
Little hand
Two swift kicks
like butterflies
Tiny little person
inside me
How I am growing to love you
as you grow inside of me–

And Sometimes Boris

The seat is hot on the train
I’m thinking about Palm leaves
and Rain
and salmon colored sunsets
shrinking behind blurred violets
shifting in the breeze–
And here I am sneezing
my immune system depleting
taking care of my growing baby
more clearly than myself
I’m second class now
A citizen of the past
I don’t matter too much anymore
But I know in my heart
the dances do
The dances we will dance together
Just us two
and sometimes Boris.


Closed throat
Can’t breathe
Sweaty palms
No words
Beating heart
Choked up
I think they know!

I think they know…

I think they know–

TDK 90

Missing puzzle pieces
but they all FIT back then
and somehow we thought
they didn’t–

Memories cascading
down the back of my brain
adolescent dreams swarm up
and then a phone call–

I see us on playground
park benches smoking
cigarettes and eating chips,
chips I’ve ended up loving

for years, dreams I wish I
had seen come true, bathtubs
full of and overflowing water
cocaine on mirrors we did not

want to get wet and yet I
would not trade it for the
world, for all the missing
puzzle pieces, I want none of

it because they never were
missing, not missing then, not
missing now, just my jaded
and upside down perception

of a perfectly perfect imperfect
world with scars and bandaids
and tissue galore, the tape needs
to be turned over. I think I’ve

heard this song before…