Cuadrado de Sabzeh
Winner of Puerto del Sol's 2017 Poetry Contest
I have your breath tucked in
my head. I want to press
it into the shape of a house
and fable that into a home where
the rugs loll on the floor,
the dominoes clink on the back porch while
the cigars stink up our hair, and
the sumac dusts the rice like earth. We smell
a crispy pig (haram) in the ground. Your
Baba and Maman will eat mahi. We jump
through the blathering flame,
Zardee maan az toh,
sorkhee toh az maan.
My yellow is yours,
your red is mine.
We are loud and verdant and maybe
we have children like our
brothers and sisters.
We laugh at whatever horrors
our mothers are afraid of,
we cry when our fathers tell
us they were young.
Then, we eat
12 grapes counting midnight and
wish for another year like this. Tranquilo,
besándome, you whisper joonam,
and I remember breath forged our home.
Natalie De Paz is a poet and screenwriter of Cuban descent who was born and raised in South Florida. Her work has been published in Tule Review and City Works Journal. She is currently a M.F.A. candidate and Turner fellow in the Creative Writing Program at Stony Brook Southampton.