Do You Understand? | Shirley Aparicio

Athena via Pexels

I slip on mud and fall flat on my back


I call out to You and it takes you a minute to understand me


Before you turn and reach out Your hand





I like to pretend that my body still knows how to speak Your words I catch myself repeating them over again

even though i can hardly get them out


even though i nearly forget


even though it hurts


even though my tongue slips on mud almost dried on the roof of my mouth





But I pick it up and repeat Them again





This I won’t let turn to brick


So I’ll scrape and scrape away until that mauve flesh erodes into craters like the moon’s

               and stitch it back up with earth toned lining


Until I can freely speak Your stories


Their stories


My stories                     Our story






Because This I won’t let turn to brick

Shirley Aparicio, she/they, is a poet, and fellow at Sadie Nash. Her work focuses on themes of decolonization, (re)connection to indigeneity, self, other, and Earth through rage and joy. @aparicions

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