Stories From El Salvador: Willy Palomo

Oct 16, 2018
9:51 AM
Originally published at Stories From El Salvador

My name is Willy Palomo. I was born in Brooklyn, NY. My mother is from a small town in Usulután called San Agustín and my father is from Soyapango.

Survival Story
By Willy Palomo

To warm her milk, my tías would leave Mama’s pachas
in the sun. At one and a half years old, Abuela Tina lost faith

in the child no remedy could temper, in the bones
unwilling to hold any amount of fat. Love does nothing

for the ungrateful mouth returning all it is given
to the dirt. Love does nothing to stop the recklessness

of our hunger, willing to devour any poison to keep
from seeing its own face. An infant will crawl to their own

death if you let them, choking on cherry pits, chasing
black ants into the road. But she didn’t die, even though

she should have, even though she should not have
taken her first step. It took mi bisabuela to rescue the child

too weak to weep, the mouth reeking of dead milk & baby
breath. That makes mi bisabuela Mama’s first angel.

That makes this the first story in Mama’s mythology.


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