MARGARET ELYSIA GARCIA
Variations On A Theme My cousin no longer talks to her mother: Too much drama, too much telenovela Big eyeliner eyes, drawn in eyebrow drama. We sit on our grandparents‘ stiff backed couch with its velvet Elvis pristine colors, Our grandmother hums in the kitchen Stirring up the same old lunch Chipped enamel spoon in an aluminum pot. My cousin, as her siblings say, is white now--She goes to school and not church married a white guy, had kids with spellable names, talks in an even tempered voice void of stereotypes and Latina My cousin talks to me now because My mother has gone thirty-three years Without talking to the woman in the kitchen I smile at this familiar variation on a theme I know well; the once a generation move on from defeat. They‘ve lied to us, you know Silence and white guys is Chicana too.
My cousin‘s absence in her family, a closed coffin death, But I‘m with her on the couch, like her children will visit my aunt Waiting for emotionless hugs and scraps of news and history, Year after year hoping, that something will begin That the visits will somehow Authenticate our skin.