I set the bottle down on the kitchen counter
in an aggravated attempt to swat
                    at the words accumulating in my mind
                    like how the pan with leftover marinara,
                                        from the night before,
                                        begs to be scrubbed
                                        before it adheres itself to the walls
of a supposed nonstick pan—inviting a family of flies
it will take my full, concentrated effort
                                       to scrape it all off, to swat at the nerve,
                                       with my matamoscas in hand, trying to juggle
                                                                           it all,
and I haven’t hit a period in a sentence because I haven’t yet taken
                    a breath from the words swirling and ready to be born
and the baby saying her first words and pronouncing first letters
                    and my teenager texting to me her love language—
                                        mom, spend time with me even if it’s cyber
                    and my tweenager, at visitation, with cosmic questions
                                        what is the inverse square root of…
                    and my husband cooking flautas, aware to leave out
the sour cream because I’m lactose intolerant and aware to leave out
gluten because I’m celiac too and aware to leave out demands
                    because I’m a hypersensitive person too,
                                                                       so when I’m asked,
                                   “How do you juggle it all?”
                                                            I don’t.
By the grace of God, there are flickers of hope in time
                    I know I could not have created without a God who loves
                                                                                                 fiercely and wisely.
By the grace of God, there are branches of faith in time
                   I know I could not have situated without a God who loves
                                                                                                 compassionately and freely.
                                                            Time is perspective.
From the time I sit the bottle down on the kitchen counter
to sitting down with my family and being faithfully present
                    I know I fail a thousand times,
                                     but by the grace of God
                                     but by the grace of God
                             every perfect gift is set apart, I remember
                                                that family is God’s perfect gift
                                                                       where stories, dichos, and cuentos are passed on
                    like passing the rice at the dinner table, but by the grace of God.

Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

Carolina is a Tejana poet, freelance writer, and speaker. Her work focuses on faith and Latinidad and can be found in On Being, The Acentos Review, SheLoves Magazine, Rock & Sling: a journal of witness, Lookout Magazine, and others. She has work forthcoming in The Rumpus, Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity, and The Windward Review. Carolina holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @CisnerosCafe.
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

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