María Esquinca

After two months of your sickness we got used to feeling

          stuck. Insuranceless and miminum wage’d,

you tell me the doctor at the free clinic refused to look

          at your throat. His lungs are garbage,

she told the nurse, assuming you only understood

          Spanish. Outside, the world burns

apocalypse. Deportations and decapitations.

          Our bodies, two commas locked

into slumber. Outside, the sound of police sirens gash

          the night like swollen banshees.

Miami is killing us. I cry for the border. For its sweet.

          Your voice husks the thick of this city, answers:


          Tiny cysts pock the red of your tonsils,

white. The doctor theorizes it’s caused by the black

          mold beneath our walls, fuzzy tumors

soughing our inevitable poison. And what can we do?

          What can we really do?

Besides walk past the stench of human feces,

          and piles of ass wipes our landlord gutted

from a clogged pipe, left outside to rot-

          stench, to teach his tenants a lesson

on property. By now we’ve become unfazed

          by horror. To the lingering feeling of inferiority

poor people learn to hold like lead

          in their pockets. Like pebbles

in a stream who learn to carry the water’s weight.

          When you tell me you coughed blood, my body

deflates. And I am gone. Your voice, a distant moon

          echo, calls for me to home. I breathe like fish

out of water. Sistole paralysis. Convinced I will die,

          again. And you, the broken

angel that will carry my carcass to the point

          where the river splits into two



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