Regina, the animal we know you,
your dark softness gutted, left to rot.
Your future isn’t in your entrails.
And you trying to make stoneware
from clay laden with tears
will not hold it all.
So here, look up, look up, look up
Not at the skin
you call imposter, not the tribe
you want to claim, not the empty casks
of broken nights and forgotten screams.
Do we not send ravens with red plastic buttons?
Do we not send cottonwood pollen
to fill your room with wishes?
And what of that mother cougar morning
on the cliff of Big Sur when you watched her spine hunch
down, that sound, oh that sound, as she pounced
on the rabbit to feed her two young cubs?
How many times can we say it?
Look up, look up, look up.
You gave us back to the light
and now we reflect yours.
You are not an imposter,
Regina, Taino Puertoriquena.
By Regina Gort
Regina crafts poetry in a Southern California but has written poems since age 9 in the desert of West Texas, the rain forest of Puerto Rico, the shore of Lake Superior in Upper Michigan. As a mother and mourner, she has an intimate relationship with grief after losing two children and her father in 2017. Now she writes for catharsis and healing, finding joy with her partner and son. Regina has been published in Deep Wild Journal, North Dakota Quarterly and The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism.