Poem: We Argued in Spanish Before We Argued in English

Andres Rojas

WE ARGUED IN SPANISH
BEFORE WE ARGUED IN ENGLISH

Proud of my first
I showed it to her

Hurt like an alien
ripping out of my deltoid

And I had not to cry
nine hours it took

A life-like heart
wrapped in barbed wire

Madre above
Hittite cuneiform below

A language with a script
borrowed from another

As far back as I
could reach a mother tongue

Modir Matar
Mayr in Armenian

Almost Mary
now and in the hour

She sobbed said everyone
would make me for a thug

Called that night crying
I said If I could

I can’t but if I could
I’d choose you again.

(This poem appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Barrow Street).

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