Saturday, January 27, 2007

Stories I Want to Tell

Peter all in blue
flies from Mr. McGregor
drops one shoe
in cabbage
in potatoes.

My hero
outwits this farmer
every garden turn.
Forfeits jacket
before slipping
under gate.

In my story
Peter finds me
outside with a pink suitcase.

But don’t mistake us
no Alice and Mad Hatter
no Grace and White Rabbit.

We are Chella and Peter
in a wood at dusk
far from family noise.

He tells me his grandfather
sacrificed his own tail
to save Otter.

I want to confess
my father shoots otter
bruises me
when mother’s not home.

I want to say
some pain is worse
than dying.

Peter holds my hand
under the harvest moon
stars floating downstream.

First Published: _Phantasmagoria_ (vol.5, no. 2), ed. Abigail Allen.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

(after a photograph by Miguel Gandert)

I'm Teresa Gutierrez. Look at me. Alive.
Not like my friend Cecilia Covarrubias. Shot
once in each breast and tossed in a field
where nothing grows.

The next day I ask my cousin to work
his magic. Tattoo the Blessed Mother.
Clothed with the stars and sun.
Spiked light down my back.

He lines and shades
week after week.
I flinch and turn away.
See our Lady of Guadalupe
rise out of my jeans.

Carry her with me.

To the maquiladora.
To dark streets after the second shift
crossroads where the bus stops.

Her mantle around me.

First Published in _Confluence_ (vol. 17, 2006), Ed. Wilma Acree