in the public domain.
Yes, It's Difficult
from a line by Inês Fonseca Santos
by Millicent Borges Accardi
We were once invincible and carefree,
able to walk the streets, ride busses and talk to each
other as close as if to kiss and kiss we did, with tongues
and teeth and then as a hello we kissed each other’s
cheeks on opposite sides, saying, “Yes I am with you”
and “We are the same.” But it was all so easy
then, and it was how we did things then,
dirty and up close and we breathed on each other,
sighing air, sipping fine water droplets
into each other’s lungs. As kids we ran over
to the Yannis family to catch chicken pox,
and leaned out the window to hug mom
when she got the mumps at 40. It was simple and sweet
and maybe how life was meant to be when we held up our
wrists, someone came to pick us up and whisper hush.
Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of two poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon Poetry). Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, Creative Capacity, the California Arts Council, The Corporation of Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation.
She’s led poetry workshops at Keystone College, Nimrod Writers Conference, The Muse in Norfolk, Virginia, and University of Texas, Austin. Her non-fiction can be found in The Writers Chronicle, Poets Quarterly, and the Portuguese American Journal. Recent readings at Brown University, Rutgers, UMass Dartmouth, Rhode Island College and the Carr Reading Series at the University of Illinois. She lives in Topanga (canyon) CA.