Papa holds a piece of sky, the constellation
Andromeda whose panicked father learned
the only way to save his kingdom was to sacrifice
his daughter, who he then stripped and chained
to a rock by the sea.
See how the mother carries
the sea in her belly? Her orchid breasts, symbol
of strength. She brings the fragrance of vanilla,
an offering of love and grātiās. This family floats
on rice-paper terrain, its infinite vastness flecked
with risk, with hope, ready to be collaged into the fabric
of América, el asilo: asylum, refuge, sanctuary—
to be released from chains of poverty, oppression,
the way Perseus, slayer of monsters, saved Andromeda.
The young daughter, the future, dressed in
a Mars pink sky, color of foreignness—shades
of the unknown. Their featureless faces, a tabula rasa,
ready to write relief, fear, doubt—Veri qui a dignum,
her father’s shirt says, any truth that is worthy.
Diane DeCillis writes at her desk in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Her poetry collection, Strings Attached (Wayne State Univ. Press, 2014) has been honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2015 and is the winner of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award for poetry, and was a finalist for the Forward Indie Fab Book Award for poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in CALYX, Evansville Review, Minnesota Review, Nimrod International Journal, Connecticut Review, Gastronomica, Rattle, Mudlark, and numerous other journals.