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Nicole McCaffety

I sit at a rest stop in Texas, 

                Nestled on the knees of tree roots—  


                                My grandmother spat my mother 


Across the river & that familiar water hums  

                In my skin. Her heart is a gentle 


                                devil chewing on my shoulder.  


I listen to the grating of 18 wheelers  

                Sliding to a stop. My great uncle told me of pressing 


Himself under a floorboard, against the heated metal of the van. 

                That it still hissed in his chest. He starved himself 


From handcuffs, his thumb  

                Disfigured from being dislocated againagainagain.  


Do we all go alone?  Is that the way we share  

                The border? 

                                My hands are soft, it is my heels that are hard.  


While I kneel in the dirt, my grandmother promises  

                Te reconozco.  


Please, would you listen to the way the wind  

Sings in my hair? 

                The same as the grass  


                between us. 

Nicole (Niky) McCaffety is a poet currently living and writing in Columbia, South Carolina.

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