The sky was phasing through electric purples and pulling jealously at my hair through the open windows of the Thunderbird as we raced around the curve of the road, and in the blue fields framed by black treelines and graying fences the lightning bugs flickered, stretched into lines as we flew and I marveled, laughed that we were making the jump to lightspeed, but you wouldn’t hear me over the pulse of the radio or the rush of the wind and so our hands were the only parts of our worlds that touched on the way home that night.

I’m not sure how I became twenty-seven.

admiring a lover

The parts of your face

you hate the most

are the parts of your face

that are the most free:

those almond eyes,

this flat brown nose.

“I like yours more,”

you say, tracing the angles,

following the broken scar,

oblivious to the kneaded contours

bred into this face

by fear and power and intent.

You may like my pointed nose and chin,

but I love my cheekbones

and this near-black hair:

the bones and hair of my mother

and hers before her;

I cherish the parts of me

that honor my people

and our suffering

and our resistance

and our resilience.

The parts of your face

you love the most

are the parts of your face

you were taught to love.

I want you to fight by me,

but I don’t know how to explain this

so that you understand.