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Updated: Sep 14, 2019

I speak a language of fragrance

At the bottom of my throat, an odor of peppermint and manzanilla,

A burn so soothing a mouth like a dragon’s tongue carrying rose petals,

My language smells like

a walk on the shores of my mother’s country.

Café Bustelo con leche at midnight.

Like Morir Soñando before the explanation, before you realize the combination is deliciously suspicious.

My language smells like DR has New York in a headlock, so it smells like chimi trucks on 103rd overpowering summer heat trash-bags lined down the streets so it smells like a feast,

for the hyphenated.

It smells like un barbecue in liminal space.


As published in Ritmo Que Late: An Anthology of Submissions during 2018 NAPOWRIMO by DWA Press.

Available for purchase at

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