Salt

by Alex Z. Salinas

 

I’d read once that Salinas,
the surname that graces
every form of my identity, was born
in the salt mines of old Spain,
where many men
surely perished.
My uncle Henry, though I’d call him tio,
was a Salinas
if there ever was one,
the salt so strong in his blood,
you could almost taste it
when the spit
from his drunken mouth
landed on your lips
when he would talk up close to you.
At that point, though,
it was better to let it sit,
to ignore, than wipe the spittle off
or else.
When he was in those dark moods,
those frequent dark, drinking moods
and the spit from his mouth flowed free,
I would remind myself to listen,
laugh,
nod my head,
listen,
and remember that, as much as
our lives were different,
as much as our paths out of the mines
were not the same,
we were of the same
salt and blood.

San Antonian Alex Z. Salinas earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Mary’s University in 2011. His flash fiction has appeared online in Every Day Fiction, Nanoism, escarp, 101 Words, 101 Fiction, and ZeroFlash. He has also had poetry published in the San Antonio Express-News.

Originally published in the San Antonio Express-News, March 2017.

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