The following is part of the Hevria series “Truth And Dare”, in which Hevria writers have pushed themselves to write about topics they find uncomfortable to share publicly.
“The most fundamental pillar in all Jewish thought is the idea that human beings have the free will to transcend their circumstances.” ~ Maimonides
The taste of my own blood
is what I remember most of all.
I try to remember better times –
as if remembering were a choice –
there are better tastes
for my tongue,
like platanitos, bistec empanizado, or picadillo,
fresh foods, multiple pans, pots, and Pyrex,
cooking always cooking,
the kitchen always going on
and on I go, trying, pretending
to fill my head with those smells
of nourishment and providing.
But the first,
the most visceral
is a split lip spilling blood,
my first-not-last taste of me,
deepest penny flavored me,
wet and snotty me,
crying and weak-kneed weakling me.
It’s all about me,
can’t everyone see that by now?
This is my fault.
This is my default.
This buried treasure of anger
drives like an endless tide
making rubble of an old seawall
mixed into the masonry
gluing the bricks
that build me.
I know who it is,
I know how it goes,
I know it’s me that destroys me.