A Woman Disobedient

by | May 8, 2020

No tattoos,
            my abuela says
es feo, muy triste
paying someone else
to give you scars,
            one eye on her telenovela
and the other on my arm,
she says no more piercings
besides the ones my mother gave me,
my abuela, her inglés as clumsy
            as my tongue rolling r’s
but her Spanish as quick
as her stories of home,
how she met my abuelo
on a bus towards Tijuana,
            took a second husband
not long after leaving the first,
never mentions their names
like something she’s buried
beneath the bed where she sleeps
            sola every night,
her loneliness a stubborn thing
she can’t shake out of her shoe,
            or the maize of her tamales
but now she says nothing of men,
            of lovers, of scars,
like zapatos our feet don’t quite fit
and our tongues strangers in her house,
who don’t know enough
of each other’s language
to fill it and still

my abuela keeps a wary eye on me
from across the kitchen table,
knows I’m destined to become
a woman
no longer a girl.∎


Words by Sofía Aguilar. Art by Sasha LaCômbe.