Diannely Antigua is a Dominican American poet.





Diannely Antigua

Maybe I’m not a mystery: I look
for the father in everyone. Come home
and hold me, I say to the exterminator
of all life. I point to the earth
where I’m told duende lives. I point
to the fog my shame has designed.
It is thick and joyless, a soup of ghosts. I’ve been sad
for too long. For too long, I’ve been
the kid who needed someone else
to buy her a meal at Bickford’s. I order
too much and apologize like I’m dragging a big truth
from under the cement slab in the yard,
my little dog finding the gopher hiding in the dark,
then whipping it in the air by the neck. Spin,
girl, spin, they say, the men who don’t love me.
And the truth? I believe in hell not heaven
because I only know how to perform
a burden. To cling is to build
an altar of collected things: this broken
crayon, that dull knife, another stained shirt.