disappearing By Tanya Tuzeo


an enlarged photograph of my grandmother
slowly turns violet

hung above stove
hot oil anoints hem of homemade dress

posing in her father’s yard
all sand and concrete

a poor man’s garden—
though papa’s tomatoes were legendary.

i wanted it there—
to remember

that i belong, am tethered—
no immigrant to family

and for her blessing
when tossing basil in the sauce.

jade velvet heels with rhinestone buckles
vanish first

violet begins blanching
seams wrought from teenage hand

maybe it’s the cheap paper i used to print—
or she is done watching over me

my earthly pettiness
wanes protection

she wants to dance with grandpa again,
forever cruise the artificial waters of the Panama Canal.

sometimes i see her ghost
in the moving leaf of a fern.

By Tanya Tuzeo


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