NEW JERSEY I 2019
I was not in art history books. My mom had to drop out of her interior design program after the first semester because she couldn't afford it. How do you buy rulers when you can't buy shoes? She tells me they were in a neighborhood they didn't belong in - and everybody knew. Gaugin never painted my mother's eyes because he could never see them. Picasso never painted my mother's eyes because she would never let him steal them - a style he could never claim as his own - a hunger he didn't know. She tells me how she gathered rain in metal pots to bathe en el campo. She tells me and the water pours from her eyes. At the family parties, everyone recognizes me as hers. They love me more because I have her face. In my dreams, she dances with the ocean but never too close. She knows the hunger it possesses. She knows from the island. In my art history class, I am landlocked by white faces that never paint me or know how to talk about me. I look in the mirror and recognize my hunger. There is something of my mother in it.