Kayla Stansbury
Quando te vejoWhen I see you Cellophane crinkles Against the black plastic spine Of the album and I’m speaking In sepia tones, windchimes' sighs, and old ghost stories. Pela primeira vezFor the first time I’ve already known for ages It seems When I meet you the first time. Perhaps a sunflower seed planted In warm earth by your fathers Quickly gathered in bluebird beaks drops Into the cradle of a laundry basket folds Into sun soaked shirt pockets carried Into town and Perhaps falls Into a patch of dirt by the library and grows Into a memory plucked by my mothers And perhaps When we shake hands The dirt under your nails from the garden greets The palms of my inheritance, at last They smile as they embrace like old friends. Faz tanto tempoIt's been a long time I’m surprised to find I already miss You This first time I meet you I hold Our time in the past tense The steam from the tea on the stove curls Around your face Like age lines settles on your eyebrows and lapses Back into droplets just as it hits your eyes You’re laughing now, but as the drops melt Down your cheeks I can already see them falling Onto apartment futons, your mother’s couch, dirt trails, and street corners I reach out to catch Them, an old habit by now but I only feel The wet mist from the kettle And the present And your amused surprise at my outstretched hands and I’m surprised To find I already miss you. Mas o tempo não passaBut time does not pass Perhaps we'll hold on To each other as aromas on faded wallpaper We hold A wake in the living rooms of our hearts passing Our lives ’round With tissue boxes and saltine crackers offering Them to one another like condolences And, in a few hours, when the neighbors stop by, we’ll pop In the home videos invite Them for dinner until the house is too full, swelling With voices The older kids chasing Our younger days down the hallway, our oldest memories Playing dominoes at the table and those secrets We’ve kept to ourselves folded Like blankets in the back room. We’ll stay up late Into the night and our reminiscing will curl Up in the recliner in a fuzzy plaid button down Or a hand woven scarf The lamp lights never dim here the coffee stays Warm And we keep the funeral at bay But we never forget It's coming The inevitability of our end overtakes Me like the cataracts that will surely one day cover Your eyes Even as we share this meal In this moment I taste Every meal We have Or will have Or have had layered Clumsily atop one another like clothes jammed in a suitcase. I spend all our time together trying to close The zipper, to keep the neighbors Up for another round, to scoop Up the tears and the years that keep dripping from your face and pour Them onto the tiny plot of earth where we keep Our sunflower souls To add one more picture to our photo album. Our history was already worn and tired when we found it. E já me sinto saudade.And I miss it already.

Kayla Stansbury is an English educator and writer based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Raised in Porto Velho, Brazil, she is fluent in Portuguese and has a perfectly healthy obsession with the Amazon rain forest. She is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University, and spends her time studying the how-to manuals and science textbooks of ancient civilizations.

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