Refugee Ship


By Lorna De Cervantes

Like wet cornstarch, I slide
past my grandmother’s eyes. Bible
at her side, she removes her glasses.
The pudding thickens.

Mama raised me without language,
I’m orphaned from my Spanish name.
The words are foreign, stumbling
on my tongue. I see in the mirror
My reflection: bronzed skin, black hair.

I feel I am a captive
aboard the refugee ship.
The ship that will never dock.
Ek barco que nunca atraca¹.

Annotations :
1. Spanish translation of the line “The ship that will never dock.”

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