Torn Minutes

Click here to download the text.

Oranges roll down the hill like loose tires and she lets them go without control. The bag, torn at the bottom, breaks her English. The holes in her language are becoming more and more common as time goes by and she begins to forget her Portuguese too. Moments of stress trigger the mountains and the cornets and the unknown words.

Sitting on the edge of the sidewalk, she sees her vegetables on the asphalt, wanting to be crushed, unless they escape and continue to descend. Her family never asks her why she moved so far away but she wishes they did so she would run back home, wherever that is.

The seagull agrees, landing beside her. It screams, as birds do, or whales jumping in immense solitude, the continuous ocean covering what can’t speak. Maybe they don’t know it either, she thinks, collecting the tomate, abacate, pepino, ready to wash them twice this time.

Poem published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.