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When I left for Mexico that evening,
I was terrified
that my life would end half-finished
with my coffee lukewarm and half-drunk on the kitchen counter
and my notebook half-filled
and my sheets half-ironed
and my eyes half-closed.

When I left for Mexico that evening,
I tucked my fist
into my pocket
and did not wave goodbye.
Saltwater rocked inside my veins, rushed past
my knuckles, leaked through the holes
beneath my fingernails.
You frowned and asked
why I didn’t touch you and honestly
I didn’t because I couldn’t and I
wouldn’t
let you see my hands cry.

When I left for Mexico that evening,
brown-skinned men hauled my luggage to some
black hole under the
fourth deck
and ivory-skinned stewardesses scrambled and clawed
for a chance to seize
an introduction.
I stood in the middle of the crowd
and imagined my skin was blue like
Florida’s hurricane waves.
I imagined I inhaled the saltwater and
I buried my toes in the sand and I
trembled at the feeling
of being half-alive.

When I arrived at Mexico that morning,
I pretended you disappeared
between the swaying scents of vibrant tequila 
and boiling empanadas.
I stumbled along the streets
and weaved between bustling vendors and
K-9 police,
the pavement beneath my feet
cracked and split in two.

When I arrived at Mexico that morning,
I wanted the world to sing to me, to chant to me
that I was worth more than merely
a set of ellipses
and I almost thought my ears had snared
the sweeping whispers
of the dancing girls:
Vales más de lo que piensa.”

When I arrived at Mexico that morning,
I was terrified
that my life would end half-finished
with my coffee lukewarm and half-drunk on the kitchen counter
and my notebook half-filled
and my sheets half-ironed
and my eyes half-closed.
I stood
in the middle of the ocean, off the coast of
Cozumel,
and swallowed the salt water
again and again, hoping
I would feel whole.




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