Monthly Archives: September 2014

New God

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I want to read the words that flow from your tongue,
catching on your bottom lip, like a drop of wine
trembling, hanging on by a lick and a prayer—
and I’m hoping to God that it’s transformed into water
because rivers flow from your fingertips, released by your teeth
and I am holding on through the flood, grasping
at your body, like it’s the last thing anchoring me for miles.

I haven’t written in months, years, eternities and universes-
but I want to write odes that make your blood sing, opening,
drowning you, me, her, them.
because drowning doesn’t mean the end,

after you sweep me away, tossing me, caressing me, holding me,
I want to float in your vast seas
enveloped, flying
through your spaces, and you through mine.
I want to go to your depths
and come back more whole than I was before
the pressure fusing me together
until we explode outwards, inwards,
creating galaxies from our eyes-
muscles forming new land masses,
our cells new star-lit beings.

Agarrobo

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Last night at 2am I saw a street dog
jumping for the garbage hanging off the
pole by the side of the road-
salivating for the remains of our previous
fish feast.
My mother told me not to feed the street dogs.
They’ll follow you home, she said,
stand outside your apartment and howl,
but she never told me about the quiet ones.
the worst ones are quiet, they follow you like a shadow
never intruding, always hopeful, that one day
you’ll invite them inside to live.

Somedays I feel like the street dog, whose pain can only be
expressed through silences- waiting for you
to let me in.

Blood

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The eucalyptus trees that caress
each side of routa F noventa on the way
to el quisco norte remind my sister
of our troubled childhood
or perhaps they only bring trouble for me
as she shrieks in excitement and speaks rapidly
in her newly acquired Spanish.
As she learned, I forgot
as if there is a limit of tongues
for each language—
and I’m the casualty by my own choice
of choosing academics
over blood.

Visviri

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There is a volcano named Visviri
that borders Chile, Argentina and Bolivia
next to the salt flats called Tara
The colors reaching to Visviri are something out of a dream
I think if I reached up high enough
I could touch the sky

The silence is only broken by
my sister scratching her name into the rocks
impermanently permanent
she throws them over the side of the mountain
hoping that one day a future self will
discover one of them while gazing at Visviri

I dream of flying over Tara, my reflection
in the salty still water, reflecting everything
above, and nothing below.

 

Tara

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Every salt flat north of San Pedro
stretches into the Andes with
hundreds of colors striped between
here and there

My family walks one hundred meters away
to the edge of the cliff—
I stay back because I think,
that if I got too close I would try to fly,
over the edge to the mountains, above the canyon

Volcanic ash beneath me,
empty blue sky above, I’ve never seen these pinks in reality
(am I dreaming?)

The Corsicans jump by the edge
as if they believe they can fly too
held aloft only by the flag they carry
and the wind whipping across the flats

Is this all just a dream?
Can I really fly to the mountains?

Hidden in the volcanic ash are
flecks of obsidian – reminding me
that beauty is found when you open yourself
to it,

in destruction, there is beauty.

Flamingo

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The land stretches for miles
and I can’t see without the
dark glasses
My mother posits that my sister is a flamingo,
constantly staring at herself in the water
we’ve traveled over 1300 km to the
salt flats at Lake Chaxa in the Atacama
and all I can think of is the silence

The Andes are covered in the snow
from the rain that only falls in the desert once every two years
my feet muddy from salt and sand
I touch the earth beneath me
wondering at my mother’s religious experience
as she opens herself up to the energy of this place
all I can think is melting into the ground
and becoming one with the earth

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The water flows into the desert at a steady rate
away from the Andes revealing the pinks and blues
I thought only possible from the sky
the three clouds that exist in the desert hang low
over the salt flats in the distance,
deceivingly close

A bird my mother refers to as a “pip-pip”
uses its long beak to drill into the mud
searching for life
finding none, it flies away
as if taunting me
waiting for my turn to touch the sky