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September 27th, 2007 - andrea blancas beltran

One can only search one’s AOL account through November 2009. Before that, no history even though one has had the same AOL account since the late ‘90s.

One continues to search an endless archive for proof of one’s existence. Web portals aren’t people. One finds that one at certain times was not a person either.

Sometimes when one’s asked about the measure of a decade one finds that one had no idea who one was a decade ago.

One decade ago one was busy dressing a life, even though one had absolutely zero aspirations to ever marry, and in fact one had made a bet with some high school friends that one would never marry. One was picking out flowers that didn’t grow in her hometown—white calla lilies with black centers, black bacarra roses, green hydrangea. This informed one’s patterns for a decade. One had stopped reading and writing hoping this would mitigate depression.

One was holding her grandmother’s hand in a hospital room hoping she would recover from her heart attack and make it to one’s wedding. One couldn’t imagine one making such a commitment without one’s grandmother present. One wanted to be five decades into one’s own commitment, too. One wanted one’s grandparents to be the last ones standing on the dance floor.

One is now over four months divorced. About one week before one was set to go to court one no longer wanted the divorce. One’s partner said he no longer knew who one was anymore. With the birds in full chorus outside one’s living room window, one thinks about how one had never managed even a bite of one’s red velvet wedding cake. Striding out of the ballroom, one lunged and grabbed an uneaten glob of icing from a white plate.

One may not know who one is anymore, one thinks. A broken thing, and marriage an old web portal one could hardly find one in.

In one’s small new yard, one grows one’s native flowers: lantana, bougainvillea, silver-leaf sage. A handful of herbs.

One’s grandma still likes to hold one’s hand. Not many details, but one’s face, one’s name. The soft space above one’s thumb.

One knows, finally, who one will keep fighting to be, but one resists even as one writes this. One reads somewhere that movement is progress. One reads a poem:

Alice Walker from her “I Will Keep Broken Things”:

I will keep



Thank you

So much!

I will keep



I will keep





I will keep



andrea blancas beltran is from El Paso, Texas. Her work has recently been selected for publication in A Dozen Nothing, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Fog Machine, Gramma, H_NGM_N, Pilgrimage, & others. She’s the associate editor for MIEL. You can find her @drebelle.


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