October ends, and here is the last installment of our October series by acclaimed poet and performance artist Magdalena Gómez, reprinted with her permission, and thanks to Red Sugarcane Press, from her 2014 book of poetry Shameless Woman.  Sharing her poetry this month has been part of an ongoing effort to honor the people of Puerto Rico. You can see previous entries here, here, and here. (The poet urges anyone wishing to help Puerto Ricans who are rebuilding and relocating to consider donating to the Boston Foundation’s “Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico.”

if I had an abuelashe would have fangsx-ray vision for menwho make false promisesand a special teato make them trueto their wordrefilling their cupuntil she is satisfiedif I had an abuelashe would carvedragon headsinto her rocking chairthat come alivewhen she is angrysending fire into the placeswhere she wants itaway from where she doesn’tmy abuela would dance nakedat the Hunts Point Marketin front of the cherriesthat would spill their juiceat the sight of her;no one would darecall the cops or laughI assure yousomeone would carryher basket of yautíaup the six flightsto her apartment,thick skinned robots multiplyingin her boiling potsof Borikua kitchen generositymy abuela would keep a macheteby the doora rosary in the pocketof her batamuggers woulddrop dead from a lookand just in case that didn’t workthere would always bea live moustrapin the pocketof her pocketbookmy abuelawould havemule legskicking wide openthe smarmy faceof injusticemy abuelawould not be politeif there is too much saltin the bacalaoand leave the tableif there is not enoughmy abuelawould love Motownas much as Loízaswing from thebranches between Borikén y Cubatell you about Blacknessas you stretch, iron, bleachyour hair into submissionoffering you the cigarof intelligencegive you another chancebut not too manyfools belong to wormsshe would sayand sink her fangsdeep into your heartuntil there is roomfor light and musicto enterpenetrar¡Ay! ¡Si! Penetraruntil you are satisfiedAbuela would be the Motherof all Bombahistory’s clean ocean in whichI would happily drown.—Magdalena Gómez, ©2014–Bronx-born Magdalena Gómez is a performance poet, playwright, keynote speaker and teaching artist and was an original vanguard member of the Nuyorican Literary Movement. She has been widely published including: The Massachusetts ReviewUpstreet journalL.A. Times, and many other outlets. Her work is included in college and university syllabi throughout the U.S. and her archives are housed at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut at Storrs. www.magdalenagomez.comPhoto: Day of the Dead Skull, Huichol tribe beaded artwork