Being away from home is like
forgetting your favorite part of a song–
the details slip away like fugitive notes
from a chorus you can only vaguely recall.
I had faint recollections of electric guitars
blaring drums, and wise sayings
but they were scattered among
a country of thoughts I hadn’t
explored in too long.
When I visited for the first time in four years,
pieces of the first verse stumbled out of my
grandmother’s laugh when she saw me.
Her words moved faster than her legs as
she shouted my name from the far side of
the airport, each step she took revealing a
beat I had been playing at the wrong tempo.
When we got to her apartment I found
the melody that had been hidden in the
jingle of her keys. I never wanted to
forget what home sounds like.
The smell of café con leche and arepas
in the mornings was the allegro piano playing
in the background that I couldn’t hear
The second verse stuck to the bottom
of my shoes as my cousins and I ran to the park,
each step picking up a note I had misplaced years ago.
I didn’t remember the bridge until the lights
went off for the first time. The rasp of the lighter
was the electric guitar and the momentary panic
was the drums that I found all too familiar.