Family Portrait

Our home is built from rainfall
and last night’s leftovers,
our cars, imaginary,
are certainly grander than yours.

My sister stole a winning lotto ticket once,
but our Catholic guilt made us tear it
up –
teary-eyed, we asked God why
he would give us such
a blessing, knowing we were cursed?

Dad is a reincarnated samurai.
He is tougher than yours and is willing to prove it.
Unemployed, he steals our bones
while we sleep,
fashioning a sword, he says, for no reason at all.

Mom is a reincarnated saint –
twice up for proper sainthood
but she can’t manage that third miracle.
I try to be it –
so does my sister,
but we’re too busy making up lies about
stealing winning lotto tickets to help.
We always finish our dinner and go to bed
on time, though.
That counts for something.

We are limited only by
our imagination, mom says.

And how much we can do with less,
adds dad.

They make us promise that we’ll buy houses
of brick and tile and other solid matters.

I promise to keep dancing so that the rain will never end.

Francisco Delgado lives with his wife in Queens, where he has taught at various colleges. He is a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University, and his work has appeared in Apollo’s Lyre, Right Hand Pointing, Wigleaf, Many Mountains Moving and Temenos. He appreciates you reading.

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