If Heaven was a Mora Tree

Bernadette Negrete

El Pueblo, El Pueblo, Mi Pueblo en el cielo
The wetness, the heat
The red flag disguised as a one way street
Great grandpa who carried his baritone like an
            uprooted tree
A gold chain bridging his neck like the creek
            the cowboys used to cross
On CNN, drunk and white
Every umbrella they’d ever owned as broken
As Mami Juana asking for a fuck insead of a fork
In the same way your bed became ours
When people ask me where I’m from
my lips trip between Guanajuato or Guadalajara
            when the answer is Dallas
Delivering my nice-to-meet-you-handshakes in
            the shape of an sloppy sloppy kiss
I keep my social security card next to my recipes
To remind myself that my brother couldn't 
            pronounce our last name until the fifth grade
But grew out of throwing up into his lap by the ninth
Last week someone asked me for the definition
            of expediency
I told them to trade in their rear view mirror for
            a pool noodle on their bumper
They told me my whispers sound like a world
Described my handwriting as little brown letters
            tangled in half straightened curls
How it feels like I spell my name with extra letters
just in case I change my mind