Grandmother describes my Spanish as desmadre. She means my accent
is the wreckage after the storm. Proof our family washed up
in this country one day & were no longer from anywhere else.
— from “Desmadre”
When language and bodies and heritage and history don’t make sense, it’s not easy to find yourself within the world. When the words your family speaks turn to those once spoken. When your parents silence your voice, and all you want to do is remember the sound of theirs.
Brandon Melendez’s speaker in Gold that Frames the Mirror (Write Bloody) is necessary, and immediate, and timely, and a reflection of all that is ironic given the borders of life, and love, and language, and unrest, and history, and politics, and identity, it’s no wonder the walls we build ourselves.
Language will languish over time. We keep what we want – defend what we want – and hold dear to the histories passed through generations. And then we make our own. We make sure the reflection shines as bright as all the gold in the world, because you are “a god / of these two hands / & today let there be / unapologetic light. Let there be an origin / story that is not bruised / fruit lodged in the throat / like a knife with no hilt.”