VISIBILITY Magazine Issue 03. (April 2018) - Page 40

A BRONX BURIAL Mami’s rage knows my asthma like the backside of her hand my split lip ready to burst open again I learned that there was no room for crying in a home that was accustomed to my staggering breath My sickness- not actually real My sickness- a symptom of where I come from (Relies on the Cross Bronx Expressway The congestion of smoke a recollection Of how white people love to leave us with ashes of their history) Black kids aren’t supposed get sick They swallow their coughs instead Feel the burn in the back of our throats Mask itself within our chests Make it seem like I was mourning instead a eulogy for all the home remedies that have failed us The first rhythm I memorized was the beating of Mami’s heart whenever we thought my lungs would fail me this time She began remembering the heartbeats her body had lost before me And if her body could not support a child How could her home? The barrio was unforgiving- Did not know what to do with brown bodies except displace or bury them 38