Diana Lizette Rodriguez 

para mi bisabuela, 
Ricarda Torres Borjas 

Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas 
Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas 
Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas
Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas
Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas 
Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas 
Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas
Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas Ruinas
Ruina: Ruina: Ruina: Ruina: Ruina:::
Ruin:: Ruin:: Ruin:: Ruin:: Ruin:: Ru
Ruin:: Rui::: Rui::: Rui::: Rui::: Rui:::
Rui::: Rui::: Rui::: Rui::: Rui::: Rui:::
Ru:::: Ru:::: Ru:::: Ru:::: Ru:::: Ru::::
Ru:::: Ru:::: R::::: R:::::: R:::::: R::::::
R::::: R:::::: :::::::: :::::::: :::::::: :::::::::
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:: :
A seasonal exposing of white hydrangeas
and their cousins the blue hydrangeas
whisper through the sun 

 I tend to remember the most 
vulnerable parts of the years 

like the memories of my tia  
who did not know how to handle grief 
and whose soul 
turned inside and out 

Whose mind found itself 
between a schizophrenia September 
while her eight children watched her 
hold hands with delusion 
and grief 

                                    tight fields 
                                    roots intersecting without rhythm 
                                     My mother’s grief
                                      :: found its way 
                                    to run into trees of phobias 
                                     Lingering torments 
                                     adjust themselves at an early age
                                     and my mother was young 
                                     when the exaggerated 

spaces were depleted from healing::: 
evoking distance
the narrow pathways of silence 

:::: :::

I will never know how it feels to grieve the death of your abuser 
or understand how the body stays together::     ::      :::            ::


Childhood marks and memories
slow figures becoming fiction
or fictions becoming truth

inventing and contradictory cycles  

It has been fifteen years since my father's death truth

and along the route 
an extension measuring between point a and point b

between the last time I heard his voice
to the moment I hear my last sound. ​​​​​​​
you are occurring without warning

dividing wet grounds where 
tall alpines crown 

those blue spruces 
exceeding diameters 

I can not find myself to ask these trees 
where, where does all of this go? 

Leaves of a vigorous branch 
sway truth 

we have been given prologues 
with nothing to follow them truth
realizations of 
our nation's failure

Touch soil of dissolution
smell the dark rich wet 
ashes rising from the failure
                       of the West 

This year we expect the truth like we are expecting winter.                         :

::               :::                              :::                                                                          ::

Time,                                            ::                                                                                            :

You place my bones on the street. On a one way street where every crushing moment is questioned.  
Silence does the same thing as a red light. Destiny falters on everyone. Time, here you are holding
my hands against my warm face flesh. Asking me to feel my skull. My Yosemite built skull. White ceramic cheekbones not reflecting the color of my skin. 

the places my eyes take 
now trail and only witness transparency.
 My Yosemite built skull  
A case of wilting flowers 
drying molding water. 

My Yosemite built skull 
A garden that un justifies the season 

tamed by autumn's light, 
our breaths inside our kidneys. 

   :                                                                                              ::

:: :                Time, 
    Your skeletal frame has become a ruin
    a radius and crystal oracle 
And you remind me that my dreams have consequences 

leaning down a homegrown language 
a sleeping meant for numbness

We are here mistaking these words for fear 
weakness moving bones

How do you direct the world to become so rushed? 

A disappearance of my existence 

inhale diameters advocating pauses

in these moments there is no taxidermy. 
Las memorias de mi bisabuelo 
están entre mi frente
entre mis ojos 

con cada pensamiento el regresa 

Su piel morena y seca 
su pelo liso blanco 

su baston cafe marmol 
sus negros pantolones de cintura 
y sus camisetas blancas  

Las memorias de él se han callado
despacio y con tiempo sus momentos 
arrastrados sin color    ::

Pedro, mi bisabuelo con el nombre masculino   
elástico símbolo 
de cada hogar 

¿Existias en pasado, o en el futuro? 

Creencias del mundo fabricado 
el sueño de los Estados Unidos 
en el rincon

los sueños del inmigrante 
arraigado devorando 
cada momento 

¿pero como es la libertad 
cuando hay unos que todavía viven
los momentos en opresión?        ::                             :                       :                                             :: 

Three nights ago 
a teal green truck with black tinted windows
was left on the side of the road                                                 

On Wetmore going towards Stahl road 
the truck was still
but resembled something 
that wanted to continue 
The city’s lights reflected
on it’s silver door handles 
as we drove by 
Someone had left it, 
or maybe several people had left it behind

the truck has become a corpse
::::   Time, 
                                                                                 You do not smell like thyme. You smell like rosemary                                                                            from my grandmother's garden. It is strong and 
                                               growing with each thunderstorm. 
                                                                            When I was younger, my grandmother used IT to cure                               that disease in our family. 
                                                                          Boiled it. Scraped it. Tied it to my grandfather's throat.                                                                And his disease died, and parts of him died too.
:::::::                :::::::::::::                     ::::::::              :::::::::             ::::::           :::             ::
                                                                     But, I believe in reincarnation. And I fear resurrection. 

   ::        :


Tia passed away 
three years ago

I found out about her death 
through the mumbling phone

Tia would sit on the blue couch
of my grandparents home

stare at the linear floor 
without losing her 
dissecting attention  

reduced reaction 
mourning variations
her presence in this world limitless

a tightness 
of myth and truth
her fragmented words 
coming out of her dehydrated voice   

My family says
her grief never turned anything

and I have spent time trying to turn my grief into. 

                                                                   :                            ::

I was given the paranormal when I was younger
inside an Easter gift basket 

My grandfather said that it lived among
 edges of San Luis and followed the immigrants to Rio Grande

It keeps itself as different forms of life with a respiratory system 
ingesting and hovering air 

Sometimes it says hello and sits next to you. It enjoys company, but it thrives inside solitude 

Waking to a highlighted linger it invites itself inside our home
but, sometimes it only knocks on the dining room window 

Like a tree branch that is being pushed by the wind 
it knocks every few seconds or so, expecting you to give it attention

It does not knock for you to open the window
it only knocks for you to be reminded of its existence 

and this is the only way it stays alive. 

El tiempo se ha convierto en 
esa época del año 

donde todo está cubierto
por reluciente fabricación 

los árboles han perdido sus hojas y aún 
así encuentran algo a aferrarse 

Yo  disfruto de las caminatas de la noche 
inhalación encuentra mi cuerpo y 
pulmones se llenan de aire frío 

sin tradicion 
mis cavidades solas con segundos 

 y Diciembre con iluminación 

Anoche,  cuando caminaba a casa
sentí una gota de lluvia

lenta por mi mejilla

Pensé en la nieve 
en las tierras en que
han viajado para colocarse
 en estas estribaciones 

Y pense en como 
duelo se ha convertido
 en la base de mí

cómo duelo me espera 
en escalones de mi hogar. 


You display yourself on my chest. To stop the movement of my breath. To stop my heart. My heart counts it's beats every 60 seconds are indefinite. This progress of existence remains and the events from the past 
present and future are regarded as whole. You make these moments into one. A long strain, or a heavy crumble of miscellaneous. This morning nothing was whole. 

I separated disconnected 
misplaced from my 
body head floats

body leaves 

The world becomes everything I have wanted. Hollow. To live in an empty world is easy, but sometimes when emptiness keeps filling my cup I notice the unmeasured hours between midnight and noon. 

Pedro sufrio por dos semanas 
antes de morir

su cuerpo
hacia tierra ajena 

sus últimas palabras 

amargas sin poder 

Pedro murió en la mañana
o alamejor durante la noche

las memorias 
de él se han perdiendo 
dispersados entre camposantos
:::                                                                                                          ::                              :: :: :

cada vez perdiendo sol. 


How can she recall something that someone else has stored? 

I do not know how to 
separate then there 

memories of my father
the refusal of life

a memory of bisabuelo Pedro 
rolling a cigarette 

a cup of instant coffee with sugar and milk 

the creating silence 
grasping the ends 

a relapse focusing 

reflection of his age 
in the mirror and a flicker

there then 

a wheel in memory 
that does not turn 


a relapse focusing 

an aiding kingdom for space 

exile constant for birth

an image of my grandparents 
living room with 
a catholic sun hanging from the ceiling 

weak light unattainable to hold 

the gold near La Virgen 
and the single spot of metamorphosis 

mi abuela rezando entre  

the restless fabric of            :::: :

Small rounded scales 
inhale cinnamon colored 

Blessed by Father Will 
the painting of La Virgen de Guadalupe 

Clouds displayed as roses 
it hangs in the living room
and my grandmother prays 
below it 
Clips of her garden 
inside a vase 

My grandmother has known La Virgen 
since she was a little girl

Within dense waters                                                                            :: 
her at eleven years old 
on the shoulders of man 
crossing el rio 

La Virgen reached 
my grandmother's hand 

preventing her 
from drowning 

Juan Diego’s vision 
lead to her appearance 
a bright morning 
replicated in our home 

I stare at 
La Virgen’s figure 
with gold lining 
her eyes soft 
with memories 

and I realize she has also known me 
since I was a little girl.  

:::                         ::                                                                   ::                                                                  :::

Papa sits near the kitchen table

the kitchen is not 
as I remember 

walls are pale 
and sustain
 in shadows 

electrical wires hang 

the ceiling open 
reveals tendencies 
of sky

from the wide 

windows behind him 
trails of light 

becoming blue 
easily find his skin 

Papa in the kitchen 
 has been dead 
for fifthteen years now.

You are holding my hands against my warm face flesh. Asking me to feel my skull. To think of my skull outside my head. Floating and without this guided identity. You tell me of the limited space of these ways. My skull floats in a dark room. A room in which any footstep would echo. Hovering calligraphy. A cultivation of hyperactivity- and nothing.
These walls do not hold forces. Do not hold truth. And you tell me: this is how it ends with a series of horizons.             

            ::                                                                                :: 

This morning
my mother sent me a prayer 
in which later I found clarity:

May I live this day 
Compassionate of heart
                               Clear in word                                 
Gracious in awareness 
Courageous in thought 
Generous in love 

:                        :                               ::      


A running surface skimming eleven years 

clear in words 

sea waves capped with foam and shame 
alluding bounds entering eternity

when do these seas turn 
into creeks of Mexico? 

holding hands 
a given yellow light 
during a fruit cut afternoon 

thick pieces of papaya 
on a plastic plate 

abuela Alicia has cut even though she knows I don’t like papaya                                            


abuela Alicia has placed 
a white carved statue dedicated 
to the sacred land 

dedicated to my father                                                                                                       :: 


a statue of the saint for the hopeless and despaired 

pienso en papa 
and what he must think of about this statue

y pienso que  papá se fue sin esperanza y desperado 

abuela alicia lives without the truth or lives ignoring it 

entering eternity 

when do these pieces of papaya 
floating down the creeks 
of Mexico reach 

the seas? 

                                   ::  :::                                              ::


Mi abuela me enseñó a 

los años 

torcida la puerta roja  

yo esfuerzo entre 
pedazos mochados
de existencia 

un archivo sin 

la cosas dadas a Dios 

a traer 

el olvido 

el invierno 
no trajo flores 

se extendió a otras 

y Dios dormio 
todo este invierno 


I do not remember the street name or choose not to remember 

Sometimes they are these impulses
 blue moon stone impulses 

to recall                                to go back to those front steps of the house


knock on door 
and ask to revisit the backyard          I  do not want to see the inside of the home  

the backyard 
a beginning of my childhood

underneath green elastic grass
two stone walls 

the backyard formulating 
trilogy of ruins.

have you made me abandon my soul? My therapist told me this morning that sometimes our minds leave our souls behind. When minds run faster than body and the inclination for abandonment becomes truth. 
I told him: 
Sometimes when I am walking I have an impulse to just start running.  Run as if I am chasing something. 
And I ask my body why, why do you want to start running?

Impulse grows 
overwhelms amount of thought 

 I realize that you can ask a body how and what

But can never ask the body why.
:::::::: Time, 
I am constantly following my own ghosts into fields of dandelions. Unopened surfaces. Portraying

A yearbook of ecstasy smearing your distance. 


When I go to San Antonio I tend to drive near the exit Hildebrand and 410 
the house sits on a yard and I wonder if there will never be a hurricane strong enough to remove it

Bisabuela Ricard lives on the exit of I-35 and Division road
south side of San Antonio 

houses crumble cement melts 
the latino communities I grew up watching 

Bidabuela Ricarda lives in a small three bedroom home without central conditioning 

early spring weekends hit 98 degrees


Ricarda Torres Borjas nació en San Juan de los Cerritos, San Luis Potosi 

no se mucho del amor que tuvo con mi bisabuelo Pedro
no se como se conocieron 
no se como crecieron juntos 

Cuando Pedro fallecio se llevó partes de Ricarda
hay veces donde Ricarda se acuerda de una historia 
la comienza con tanto detalle pero despues para y dice: 

“Ya no me puedo acordar” 

y no termina la historia

Cuantas de sus memorias se ha llevado? Y cómo podemos tener de regreso esas memorias que se han llevado los muertos?    


I wonder if this lack of childhood memory occurs because my father has 
taken parts of  it to his white ceramic grave.


How do I make enough of you? How do I wrap 
myself around with your paradoxical intentions? 

At 3 am you wake me 
tell me to follow the mind  

what mind do you speak of? is the mind that remembers 
childhood smells? or is the one that remembers familiar 
tastes that lead me nowhere and yet to my father's door 

yellow dust on silver door handles 
uranium on the welcome home mat

My inflamed photographic memory had once decided it wanted permanence 
forcing linear light to split
trailing a radioactive silence. 


Molding releasing towers
an existence that never wanted to exist

I think of all the minds who decide that they can not go any further than this

complete darkness leads to one path
mistakes of a single reality or reality of 

My father ended his own life because of this 
this this  was too much 

and yet how does a dark mind end when it is given to its offspring? 

Sometimes when I am staring at the floor or sky
I feel it      I feel my mind complete and whole 

rambling words pushing along the ridges 
blue words repeated sentences 

When this feeling is too strong I ask out loud:

 ¿Papa, haci era tu mente?


Cuando mi familia Borjas cruzó la frontera 
trabajaron en las tierras de un cementerio    Chapel Hill Cemetery en Converse, Texas

estas eran las tierras
expansivas que mi hermano, tía y yo 

corrimos y rodamos por colinas 

Mi bisabuela Hortencia
tío silvestre y bisabuelo Pedro 
están enterrados allí 

recuerdos de vida y historias se quedan conmigo 

Como esta historia que ocurre 
mi madre y sus primos jugando y corriendo 
entre los muertos 

jugando con una niña y niño
que cuando los persiguen  
se desaparecen entre 
el grueso tronco de árbol 

aparentemente se desvanece    
a algo más allá de nuestra existencia.


We visit Chappell Hill once a month to leave flowers for Pedro and the other family members

White distilled daisies

he is buried next to my tio Silvestre 
and my abuelita Horcentencia is only buried a few meters away 

my family has bought more land around these graves. 



 I will never understand how the body stays together when all of its memories have mistaken violence for love?  



                                         ::                                                                                            :

Time,                           : ::    : : :    

Another person has become you
a low sky holds you directly in shadows

war promotes you to become more violent more isolated

A red and green triangle 
abstractions of your magnitude

you have said over and over again: 

this should not become you
this history that is more extinct than the ones on paper. 


Why do concentration camps still exist? 

Why are borders filled with blood? 

why do you hold your breath when 
you think of your destruction? 

dark mix media 
behind and beyond
a belief of hydration

beauty composed to endure small islands
mornings with absent minds 

grass grows like reaching limbs 
across bridges miles of fires a thousand shifts attracting fortunes

why are children being taken away from their families?  inserted into places of punishment
spoken to yelled at by a language they can not recognize

why are children dying in the hands of ICE? 

abandonment and layers of blue hues

time, you are building these mountains.


Once, I found everything about my father
photos birth death certificate journals ID wallet letters

long brown leather rectangle carrying its years 
a golden in-circled star on it like a belt buckle 
papa carried his wallet always in his back pocket 

just a memory far away  from  truth

papa’s journal was full of songs  poems 
he had written

visions of  yellowing pages with small black ink
I remember his handwriting so well  and  I do not have my father's handwriting
I have my mothers    

along these pages a letter to my mother 
numerous apologies to all the suffering
his long extracting goodbye

:: and I can not understand if that letter was making an ending or if it was only depicting a beginning to  


:: I told my mother once that I truly do not believe in his existence 

She replied: 
You exist, therefore he existed. 


:::::::::::::::::::::::::                                                         ::::::::::::::::::::

   You place your hands on my lap. And display a graveyard. 

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