my papi

Isa Velasquez

an average tuesday 


Rivers run red, raw from the screams of pain

Blood boils hot, who left the fire burning?


Tears leap down stained cheeks

When will the wars end?

How many cries must spill?

How much anger must erupt? 


The house has not been quiet for many years

The walls and smiling picture frames shudder at memories of slamming doors, 

Wails of misunderstandings


May the dove not be preyed on by the raging hawk 

May the dove deliver peace upon the home


another love letter


I remain hidden within my room; I can hear
everything. The clunk of keys being picked up
makes my stomach sick. I suppose not many
would associate the sound of keys with such a
negative feeling, but others don’t know what
we do. They don’t know that the clattering of
the keys is the slamming of the door. The leaving,
the abandoning. Oh, there goes our front one
closing with aggression. He never strays from
the script, the prompts, always the perfect act. 

I know what comes next. 

Each of us will exit our burrows like
rabbits, cautious, watching, waiting to see if
the predator has left. Mum’s face will be stained
with the trails of her tears. Her eyes swollen;
the pretty green colouring faded from its usual
radiant shine. She will hold us and whisper
sweet things. Make promises that will ultimately
be broken. 

We don’t need him; we can do this
without him. Mum, we both know that mentality
won’t last long. Only a few days or a few weeks.
During his absence when we don’t know where
the hell he’s been skulking around. Probably crying
into empty booze bottles and anger wrapping his
heart in chains. Squeezing, hurting, knowing
he’d fucked up. 


Scripts, terrible scripts are everything
in this family. Which is great for me since
I enjoy predictability. Which is why I know he’s
going to be back. 

He won’t be here anymore! I promise!
Sure mum, sure. Let’s just wait until we hear that
postman leave, our mailbox now full. 

Another apology. 



i once loved an arsonist 


His blood is hot, his skin blisters

He carries the smell of burning flesh 

He is on fire 


When you realise you are on fire, naturally you do not stay put

Allowing your flames to lick our straw toes

A ticklish sort of pain 


You would douse yourself in water hoping to be purified 

But he didn’t

He looked in the mirror and shrugged at the sight of his singed hair


We screamed jump in the water, and he coughed smoke into our mouths

Ashes landing on our tongues like memories of snowflakes 

He saw he were on fire 

and he continued to stroll through the dry grass


He watched us dance in the rain

Wishing to join us but not moving an inch from the safety of our sanctuary 

The roof of our house indulged in his flames


Burning our home to the ground

Burning the world to the ground 

Until there was nothing but hellish fire

A world that reflected his own heart



the wisdom of abba


He steps through the door

Laughter fills the air

Joy suffocates our lungs

Love rips into our hearts


The clock rewinds to the beginning

Back to cuddles, 

back to morning kisses and piggyback rides

Diving into pools during hot summers

fingers sticky with melted ice-cream 


Tick, tick, tick, the clock moves forward 

Ugly language bruising our faces

Doors slamming like thunder

Hope drowning in heavy oceans of tears


I peer over at his military issued watch 

The building caught fire a lot sooner than I thought

Jailed for arson, not to worry

He’s on probation for good behaviour 

Dad comes home 


Mamma Mia, here we go again 



playing dress up 


When I was a little girl, I was a princess

Plastic tiara, gems lost under my bed

A pink gown caked in glitter, sparkling artificially 


Leaving the house was a fashion show 

Funky sunglasses, vibrant coats, little boots

All prettied up like an American girl doll


A ground-breaking actress in games of pretend

Crowds of teddy bears cheering, 

Mr Ribbons wipes inspired tears from his eyes


Then, every now and again

I would be tasked with a very difficult role

Pearls resting on my chest

Lipstick scribbled on like a clown 

Wobbly in high heels 


She is too sad to go on stage 

And so, roles are reversed

Baby becomes mummy 

Mummy becomes baby 


I hold her face and wipe her tears 

Give her kisses on her swollen eyes 

Hold her heart as it grieves once again


Don’t worry poor baby, mummy is here

It will be okay I would say 

Holding my baby and stroking her hair as she wept 

Mummy will take care of you

I will take care of you

Isa Velasquez is an aspiring poet, currently studying at QUT. She hopes to create work that others can relate to so they no longer feel alone like she has felt in the past. She hopes to one day publish her work.