Friday, April 11, 2014

Poem of the Week: Elizabeth Acevedo

Liz Acevedo

The Therapist Says to Talk Through Your Door in Case You're Listening 

Rob, my heart is a peeled clementine and I don't wince
anymore when you stick your thumb in the hollow middle,
pull apart. You don't even swallow these pieces
just set them underneath your bed (next to the safe box
Papi pried open because he was afraid you'd bought a gun.
It was actually a bundle of never posted letters to Obama
asking him for the money owed to you for having penned
The Sixth Sense and A Beautiful Mind), and as this scent
of rotting citrus blossoms in the room we shared as children
--I can hear you murmur, your laugh echoing my scraping
at the wood of your door. Rob, I am splintered, drawn blood.
We both know how to slip medicine into milk, how to gift
each other with our backs. The hundred kinds of get out
someone can backhand against a name, take them all, palmed,
opened, don't be afraid that I'll ever try to walk through this door,
because the surface against my cheek is the only comfort you've shown
me in years. Rob, you always said clementines were too sweet.
Fold, shrivel, leave nothing behind but molded skin.

-Elizabeth Acevedo

Used by permission.

Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Maryland. Acevedo has been published or has work forthcoming in The Acentos Review, The Ostrich Review, and Callaloo. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a member of the 2013 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. She lives and works in Washington, DC as a teaching artist for Split This Rock.

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1 comment:

Tabatha said...

Powerful. I'll save this to read again. Thanks.