Always Messing with them Boys
Jessica Helen Lopez             
BACK      NEXT


Una Carta de Amor de la Llorona with special thanks to Danny Solis


open a jar for the dead, the winds of an openmouthed
river like a fishy kiss, oily, will ride up your neck
it has been minutes, decades only a day since
the departure of my cherub stones, my children
made of pitfalls and marble, two pairs
of trusting eyes

the moon a witness to their slipping away
beneath a blackness like the spit of a serpent,
the river who froths at her lipless mouth

I am a wandering offrenda, a
burning white flame, a woman
without footprints

Ay, diablo! pull my fantastic hair of colorless ribbon,
shred me with your long talons like papel picado
like eyelets of a delicate dirty lace
you are my inverted love, my mariachi monstrosity
pull me into the dirt with you,
I will rub this sand between my legs, haunches ragged
with the smell of your open palm
you are the closest thing to a man

let your onion eyes linger
over my crow eaten bones
you are the living thing inside
of my dead moon,
the noose of my womb,
the worm-rotten entrails

pine away, you silver-footed devil, tongue of a bastard,
I have seen a meandering love like yours before,

now my lidless eyes are peeled back over my skull as I watch
you with all of the blood and wrath I have ever known
I spit on your pile of ash, your pious truth, your pitiful love

I have no use for the stone hearts of men
or the monsters who used to be men

What shame my husband brought to us,
you should have seen his lackluster eyes,
his ghostly slit that spoke to the back of my head
his pockets empty with gold, head full of stale air
his arrogant thighs
his high-cropped riding pants
his slick stallion
like bitter potatoes he cast us back to the earth

When he paraded that woman,
made of silk and parasol,
hot coals scorched my eyes
my peasant knuckles yearned for
something to smash against

I am a love-shorn bride,
a barefoot gaggle of ball and socket
take this piece of hip-bone
carve it into an obsidian blade and
cut this womb from me. Ay,
Cucui torture me soft with your
light-footed rooster, madman dance
acid rain letters of the dead

we will fashion a house of sticks and burnt stone,
cobbled brick of blackened bread
the windows shades made of our eyelids
sightless so that I might not remember
the spectacle of the river

you will let me forget I ever gave birth
and instead I will forge you from the jelly of my gut

Ay, El Muerto, you knock-kneed skeleton
you are the husband I am meant to have
our beloved bridal bed wilts like
white magnolia and softens like curdled milk

Tell me, dark lord, in whose
child shall I find reprieve?
What thin-ankled dark-haired
beauty will become my savior,
my temporary resurrection?

I am no Medusa ?
I will ink out these stars,
stick a dagger in every last one of them.
I will blind the night.
I am all that whispers, the knotted hair of Hemlock,
a banshee, misfit cry,
a bag full of misbegotten keys,
the sour breath of grief

I tend my garden of stewed tomato
and maggoty meat, a bushel of eyelashes
and children’s smiles
my gardens are overgrown
with thickets, with the laces of
tiny shoes, bits of colored foil,
pin-wheels and yarn,
the tattered love of a mother