Azure Velez

Magical Daughter #107: Susan Kohner as Sarah Jane in Imitation of Life


Azure is a 22-year-old aspiring writer, with a Bachelors in Psychology. Born and raised in The

Bronx, they spend their spare time reading, baking, and writing about lost loves and the

afro-latinx queer experience.

after Morgan Parker


Daughters are not meant to
get along with their mothers.
Black mothers do not survive in movies
they are gutted and roasted
and their own daughters gorge on their bodies.
Sarah Jane cries white ink
over the coffin of her black mother.
She is pulled away, consoled, forgiven.
She thinks about burning flesh.
All the white women look hungry.
Black mothers are followed
by a procession of white daughters they nursed.
Funerals are buffets.
My mother says the nurses tried to give her a darker
baby at the hospital.
She pointed at me,
small, off-white, girl
and knew I was hers.
Every daughter learns early
to feast on their mothers.
I was raised as a daughter.
Black mothers cook and clean
and think of their own mothers remembering
the taste of skin and ribs.
They trace the places on their own
stomachs where they plunged
forks into mothers before them.
My mother reminisces about her mother
in the kitchen. Her mother
taught herself to read and fed everyone.
I mean to say that
my mother is a daughter and I am hers
and we both know how to pick sinew
from our teeth.


I Sit in A Restaurant and Wonder Where All the Black People Are

         after José Olivarez


my white friend's mom asks to touch my hair. i am young enough to be intimidated by adults to say yes and old enough to know this is an act of othering. her hands are smooth and they tug on a curl, she says she wishes her hair had such volume. my mother’s hands are calloused from years of labor but they are gentle when she braids my hair. my friend’s father sits across from me and tells me back in canada his favorite place to eat is this little jamaican restaurant on the corner. where the servers look like me and the jerk chicken is to die for. i realize i am the only brown skinned patron at the Yale Club restaurant. my mother cooks jerk chicken like it's second nature, she promises that when she has time she will teach me how to make it. my friend eats her pasta and i eat my steak while her parents tell us about the last vacation they had in the caribbean. where men with dreadlocks sang one love and women spoke fast patios and carved mango. my mother hasn’t been home to jamaica in years, flights are expensive. she reminisces about the mango tree her aunt had and the wide open fields her brothers would play football in. there aren’t any brown or black servers in the Yale Club restaurant. the white parents compliment my jamaican heritage, they say i must tan so easily, all they do is turn red, i should be glad i never burn.

© The Acentos Review 2021