Letter to My First Gold Hoops

Amanda Galvan Huynh

You came in a white box

pillowed on pink. Your body

the width of my finger, a shell

pattern tracing the curve

of your sonrisa. I can see

my mother over the glass

choosing you: her own hoops

glinting in the light. She tucked

you in her purse and brought you

home to me. On my fifth birthday,

she slid you through the holes

of my ears and you dangled

beside my brown curls. You took

in the world above my shoulder —

learned to swim, ate elotes and searched

for old dresses at the flea market,

sat through First Communion, read

books on road trips across Texas,

made tortillas with Abuela, climbed

onto buses for first days of school —

to you this was our forever —

but middle school taught me

the word wetback. Taught me

the place of my skin. Curly hair

should be straightened. Dyed.

Color contacts should cover

the earth in my eyes. Taught me

how to unclasp you from my flesh,

to choose silver over gold, and leave

the pride of you on my dresser.

Eschúchame cuando digo: I’m sorry

for ever hiding your sonrisa —

when all you wanted was to love.


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