by Melissa Lozada-Oliva
katharine is getting her monthly brazilian wax $$ she isn’t seeing anyone $$ so this isn’t for anyone $$ you shouldn’t do anything unless it’s for yourself $$ katharine is a self-made kind of woman $$ mami is too $$ katharine comes to the house & mami waxes her in the living room $$ she makes me set up the dining room table into a waxing bed $$ the same one we eat our twisted thanksgiving on $$ arroz con gandules even tho we aren’t puerto rican $$ sweet potato casserole recipe mami got from one of her clients $$ katharine comes on time $$ she has no tolerance for people being late $$ i am reading in the kitchen but eavesdropping $$ immigrant kids know how to listen $$ it is how we get ahead $$ we are good little spies $$ katharine says have you heard about this george zimmerman thing? $$ mami says no, what is about? $$ katharine says well everyone wants to make it a race thing but it isn’t a race thing because george zimmerman is latino $$ mami says okay lift up your legs $$ mami says to be honest, i don’t really get it $$ katharine says i just don’t know why people have to be politically correct about it $$ later, katharine will play devil’s advocate with morals on facebook, later still, she will say we are all immigrants, aren’t we $$ now she says i mean you came here & worked so hard i just really admire that $$ mami calls my name $$ meleesa please heat up de wax $$ oh, katharine says, your daughter, i haven’t seen her in ages $$ is she still reading? she is so well-behaved $$ you did such a good job with them $$ you always do such a good job
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a touring poet and educator based in Boston. She has been featured in Bustle, Huffington Post, Paste Magazine, The Guardian, and her mom's Facebook statuses. She is VONA alumn and an MFA candidate at NYU. Her poems in this issue of Muzzle will appear in her forthcoming chapbook, Peluda, which is available for pre-order from Button Poetry.