Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Rachelle Cruz


"Someone Said 'Immigranty'"


Priority two-day mail envelope
from my parents
Persimmons slick and bundled
in bubble wrap

                       Just a single ruined

Stack them into baby pyramids on the counter, in the fridge, slice them into orange shards, on toast.

Tear into each bit until the stem whistles

What they taught         to not waste our waste

To fish our kidshit out of the toilet

To bury beneath the lemon tree          the calamansi the persimmon

The package bite into the skin  taste the wasted the wanted of childhood


"A piñata party at the end of the alley"


           Strung from one end of the dumpster to the laundry line

How we improvise      the kindness of cars swerving in the other direction

I'm willful in front of the mirror                   breaking into pieces I gather and eat like candy

Tamarindo       Sharp tear on the roof of the tongue   This is how we Immigranty

My mother washing styrofoam trays where she defrosted chicken    Still good


Still good       We don't get e.coli      We had worms But everyone had them Pulling them out of
someone a sister a neighbor           This is how we love each other telling each other push with
two hands not plugging our noses


Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. She is the author of God's Will for Monsters (Inlandia, 2017), which won an American Book Award in 2018 and the 2016 Hillary Gravendyk Regional Poetry Prize. She co-edited Kuwento: Lost Things, an anthology of Philippine Myths (Carayan Press, 2015) with Melissa Sipin. Her most recent book, Experience Comics: An Introduction to Reading, Discussing and Creating Comics, was published in September 2018. She hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour with Muriel Leung. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Southern California.