Poem: A Modified Villanelle for My Childhood

A Mod­i­fied Vil­lanelle for My Childhood
–Suzi F. Garcia

           with some help from Ahmad

I wan­na write lyri­cal, but all I got is magical.
My book needs a poem talkin bout I remem­ber when
Some­thing more autobiographical

Mi famil­ia want­ed to assim­i­late, noth­ing radical,
Each month was a strug­gle to pay our rent
With food stamps, so dust col­lects on the magical.

Each month it got a lit­tle less civil
Iso­la­tion is a learned defense
When all you wan­na do is write lyrical.

None of us escaped being a criminal
Of the state, insti­tu­tion­al­ized when
They found out all we had was magical.

White room is white room, it’s all statistical—
Our cal­en­dars were divid­ed by Sun­days spent
In vis­it­ing hours. Cold met­al chairs deny the lyrical.

I keep my genes in the sharp light of the celestial.
My his­to­ry writes itself in sheets across my veins.
My par­ents believed in prayer, I believed in magical

Well, at least I believed in curs­es, biblical
Or not, I believed in sharp fists,
Beat myself into lyrical.

But we were each born into this, anger so cosmical
Or so I thought, I wore ten chok­ers and a chain
Couldn’t see any sig­nif­i­cance, anger is magical.
Fists to scis­sors to drugs to pills to fists again

Did you know a poem can be both myth­i­cal and archeological?
I ignore the cat­a­phys­i­cal, and I anoint my own clavicle.

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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