by Raquel Ashley Dunkin-Ramirez
They say you don’t begin to form memories
before the age of four or five but I know that
to be untrue. My memories of you are few
A cheap motel room and how hilarious I,
at three years old, thought the tiny bars
of soap were. Why were we in a motel room?
A platter of cold cuts.
A platter of cold cuts?
I remember your voice on the phone,
wishing me a happy birthday in broken
English. I remember the excitement I felt
when a letter from you came in the mail.
I remember when the calls and letters
stopped and I remember promising myself
that if you ever decided to waltz back into
my life, I would reject you as you had me.
Mostly I remember the call at 4 a.m.
I remember sitting in the car with my mother
while we both cried. And the crushing guilt
I felt at my previous declaration.
Raquel Ashley Dunkin-Ramirez is an artist living and working in Oakland, California. She graduated with a BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts in 2014.