Cathexis Northwest Press

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maldiciones de odio y amor en los tiempos de mierda
00:00 / 02:32

i’m writing her a poem about an alchemical tale 

           i was told in Egypt         a scarab pushes 

bolitas de mierda down the road       

                            shitballs grow    

                                                       the way snow sticks to snow 

when the beetle has dealt with enough shit       

           midas-colored flies emerge and flit                       

                                        away forgetting where they came from

to ward off maldiciones   i’ll give her a blue-green scarab      

           that sat in my pocket while my body

floated in the Dead Sea      the way a sprig floats in oil  

 

                                                        ***

 

cuando era joven         people in charge talked

           about una llamada de dios

 

                        and i’d lie on my side  

as coyotes circled closer to the moonbright barrier 

           between sagebrush and asphalt

              noting i had not been called         

one nochebuena the first man    flipped me     upside down

           while tree lights glowed like planets

he pounded on my back    until    a peppermint candy 

           lodged in my throat        popped out    

              and then the night was good

 

                                                        ***

                       pain is personal

                                    the weight of loving 

                                                         and being beloved

                       the way brujería is more personal than soap 

                          amulets and sage

repetition is what keeps us together

                                    pero ella no se nota

              i’ve always had something stuck in my throat

Marcy Rae Henry is a Latina born and raised in Mexican-America/The Borderlands. She has lived in Spain, India and Nepal and once rode a motorcycle through the Middle East. Her writing and visual art appear in Hobart, Newcity, Thimble Literary Magazine, New Mexico Review and The Wild Word, among others. Her writing has received a Chicago Community Arts Assistance Grant and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. Ms. M.R. Henry is working on a collection of poems and two novellas. She is an Associate Professor of Humanities and Fine Arts at Harold Washington College Chicago.