In my father’s body shop, the dual

action air sander’s muffled screams

drown out the pain of the country 

music station. Within the cloud 

of Daytona paint particles, I strip

the luster off a Chevy’s fender. 

And within a fog of questions

I wonder if the cerulean I see 

is the same color as my mother’s ocean. 

If the ancestors I seek would recognize 

the color of the blood within my veins.

But a breeze pushes the clouds

above my head to the once white, now 

gray fiberglass batt on the ceiling. 

Beneath that storm cloud, I wait 

for my father to tell me

I can go home. 

Everett Cruz (he, they) lives and teaches in Denton, Texas, where he studies creative writing at the University of North Texas. He is a Filipino-American who grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. His work has been or will be published in Brave Voices, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Resurrection Magazine, Marías at Sampaguitas, Stanza Cannon, and Five South. Twitter @EverettCruzIsOK

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