Spice, Snails

Praise our concussed brains cracked teeth
knit bones arteries blocked and free
vocal chords modulating air flow—
mom’s telling it on the mountain with
Mahalia Jackson, grandfather’s and Patsy’s
resonating lonely crazy, so blue.

Praise our arched brows, Sister, our freckled
cheeks and commanding iris yours and little
brother’s opening in Saigon in ’73, his DNA
last year confirming eighty-three percent
Filipino, Chinese percent ten, Vietnamese,
well seven percent said we could discard
the GI father/Vietnamese mother theory.

Praise keloid scars swollen glands T cells
blood sugar spikes, blue soft and dark
brown eyes, nerves firing fast twitch
muscle fibers and flinches: older brother’s
when he tore his cuticles ours when
we picked scabs prematurely
and found stardust bleeding in our hands.