Say It In

Gabriella Balza

Spanish and it all comes out like

carnival, todo alborotado. Say luz

and the pulse of a shantytown splays

open, talk of baile and think of nights

in los teques at tia haydée’s, bodies sweating and

swelling under porch lights, songs that let you

and the boy you like touch, for a moment,

for a few moments, in between spins, watch

it crawl out here, mid-sentence, turn you

warm, leave you aching. Say it in English now,

witness all the bulbs in the house rupture,

feel your body swing back and forth, back and forth

slow, when you drink too much after a late

shift and don’t want to go home to the boy

who doesn’t let you dance. Shhh, don’t say

it in anything. Keep it here in the in-between,

before the mouth opens and splinters everything.

Sleep in the middle of this desert road where you float

in hazy orbs at the marked border where there is no language,

where everything is just beginning, where everything

is taking its first breath and it all comes out like

dawn, all comes out like a barefoot waltz in sand,

where even if you tried to name it, it wouldn’t feel

how it feels here: all of you, doused in morning’s red light.


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