We Don't Talk Much

Sarah María Medina

             after Frank Ocean's Nikes

We make a myth of    ourselves. We      kneel  thick &        pray up

river Zemí.             You never  heard      these Gods?           Atabex

she rainbowed  my river scales,       taught me to breathe      water.    

See how my mouth     burns        deep down?          Wish I looked

Taíno like Sis her brown all quiet           ignite. I hued Mama’s low

white sugar    but what’s Taíno look like         these days?      Nike

or Converse,  blue bubblegum  & verse,       queen bed        bohío  

shade? Sky    penthouse or foodbank line,                straight shine    

or cornrow. They don’t see        a prophetic               Puerto Rican       

princess      come queen. They wear slurs          behind Pop’s back.  

Miss my lip   (Say Arawak )  I open my teeth      here in the deep,  

we mermaid. How    they stare at our femme   grip & hone. How

our hips    spread  salt. How they never              diamond & truth.  

(RIP Jonas B & his gold grill)         Mira, we’re never basic, so take

hard      tres reglas:       We never take  photos             at the party,

but my love filmed my mouth.    What does my guava        mouth

look like?      They say we siren,  we never  (Say Mestiza)      never

wanted them  but  they dove     in our beauty          (Say violación)    

sought our howl. Our grief,                they didn’t know. Down here    

we submerge &  race, bespeak touch & afterglow       become  two

tails &  two mouths on two versions.  Laid out on wet            floor

we suck &  prophesize grind.       How we make  mystic. How they

map water, predict tide.               How water makes an island of us.