WILLY PALOMO  I was born in Brooklyn, NY. My mother is from a small town in Usulután called San Agustín and my father is from Soyapango.

WILLY PALOMO

I was born in Brooklyn, NY. My mother is from a small town in Usulután called San Agustín and my father is from Soyapango.

Survival Story

To warm her milk, my tías would leave Mama’s pachas

in the sun. At one and a half years old, Abuela Tina lost faith

in the child no remedy could temper, in the bones

unwilling to hold any amount of fat. Love does nothing

for the ungrateful mouth returning all it is given

to the dirt. Love does nothing to stop the recklessness

of our hunger, willing to devour any poison to keep

from seeing its own face. An infant will crawl to their own

death if you let them, choking on cherry pits, chasing

black ants into the road. But she didn’t die, even though

she should have, even though she should not have

taken her first step. It took mi bisabuela to rescue the child

too weak to weep, the mouth reeking of dead milk & baby

breath. That makes mi bisabuela Mama’s first angel.

That makes this the first story in Mama’s mythology.