Two Poems

Written by



Mother handed me circles. Carry these. Place them where everyone can see. Where you cannot forget. Draw yourself. Daughter, you’re more than a closed curve.

I carried them over mountains, swam with them in the sea. At night, I dreamt of salamander tails. Limbs regenerating. Awoke to find the circles missing. How could I return home? Daughter who lost everything? 




For months I went unnamed, unclaimed. Rocked

to sleep by Sister Bina. Bottle-fed and I grew


uncharted hair spread from my temples to my neck,

black and thin like rice paper.


In a photo I have never seen she was holding me.

In every photograph since, given an American name.


A Message from Favianna Rodriguez

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