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to Bare Branch

You take the bone of meyour salt
buried nest, acrid & sour, but I liked it

wrist bruise faded, back silver molars
a solar imprint on purpled skin

my tongue snake & shed

countries again, snow ice

threatens & in the city of earthquake
& endless stairwell scream, you slick

the call of tamale vendors. Im washed
sheets, electric violet fragrant

bone ache, unpeeledyour name
found sutured inside.

I dive planets, touch Saturns ring to shy
you, but cant shake you. I marry Ishmael

in my bed his body ghosts. Nest torn,
sewn back, twigs a shudder.

Will I crave less? Maybe never
magical wife nor army captain of one.

No Longer Twelve, Thirteen, Bang!

This is not Disneyland & time is running outand that is clich & our breathing has been clich a
marked up & down exhale across Maori totem poles & rotten egged hot springs. The baby that died
from her belly on the long train & the soot of it all against the gravesite of a tired shepherd. If you were
twelve I would listen. If you were eight I would listen. The plaster of salt against skin & the ceiling fan
that sucked in the scent of rot & oranges. The mouth of her hum when words were no longer spoken.
You are no longer a child. I cannot hold witness to your details. The attic room with blue starred
wallpaper & the window sill that bruised my thumb. The basement cat with a broken tip of tail. Your
guitars with sets of backup strings you are ready for the break in, the thief & the baseball bat that
broke Bronx bones. Speak to the police or hold silence. Dont speak of your mother. That is like a mouth
of scream better for the windowless office. How do you feel? Was it rape? What is rape? Why do you
have an oral fixation? Stop hold silence: Too sweet December sugarcane. Cotton candy clouds as
bears that rot molars. Blackened baby teeth break finally! against the opening & closing of a Ferris
wheel bar. Metallic salted lower lip & candied apple on Venus beach. Are you writing this down? Are you
making a poem of it? Let this fold like a stack of queens burnt by a single please.

Peonies on the Mesa

after Diego Romeros Momma Jenny
Momma Jenny, you take Sweets Papi
Chulo into the tipi & fold your ship around
his small bird pin shoulder. Papi Chulo
prays a sob to the child
raped & burnt in Borinquen & El
Curandero speaks to Sweets ill jewel,
bruises her chest skin with an egg, pulls
out an aching black eye cracked
in a bowl the hit she carried inside
her purpled peony. Sweet tastes
dirt now, tastes burning, tastes smoke, Papi
Chulos saliva. Forgets to braid & tucks
her mouth to the mattress. Papi
Chulo burns inside the tipi, THANKS
UP for electric sacred,
ayahuasca without medicine tongue &
Sweets dancing eyea break in crazy.
UP, chants Sweets colonial Spanish,
smoke roll & smell of iron yolk. Sweet need
not fear the taste because he spades it below
rotten wild lilies. Papi Chulos fingers
make a tipi & fly into a wail that breaks
because once he was a church boy under
priest hands. Papi Chulo calls Sweets
ancestors from an old flip phone though
shes diasporas pale child. Broken eagle,
Papi Chulo soars, cruises highway
blackened sky. Its inside her now,
lodged since the river.

Sarah Maria Medina is a poet and a fiction/creative non-fiction writer from the American
Northwest. Her writing has been published in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Midnight Breakfast, Educe
Journal, Winter Tangerine, PANK, Raspa Literary Journal and elsewhere. She was a finalist in
both Indiana Review's 2015 Poetry Prize and Winter Tangerine's 2015 Poetry Prize. She is at
work on her memoir, The Necessity of Not Drowning.

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