Ana Maria Caballero

A spoken word, media-rich poem by multiple award-winning poet Ana Maria Caballero. From Caballero’s new manuscript, MAMMAL, which explores how biology delimits cultural rites and was designated as a Manuscript of Exceptional Merit by Tupelo Press. Her signature, straightforward verse gives voice to what’s left unsaid in that all-important space of home.

Sense of Humor

Even though I am not funny,
my son laughs.

His laughter does not make me feel funny,
but beholden—

like I owe him a joke now,
like I better get funny soon,

before he is old enough to remark
that mommy is not funny,
but somber—

a string pulled from its spool
into a snap horizon.

You need not drop your gaze.

If it becomes hard to see me
I will be the first to say—

turn away.