boundary of being / not being
last night i slept through several small earthquakes
before ghost hands delivered me to
the space between one and zero:
a lush island floating on a stagnant lake,
a silent zone enclosed by a dome-like bubble
separating what barely is from what already isn’t.
sitting behind a wall of tall reeds jailing my vision
i was not surprised to find peace
in the sound of still water.
i create the exact level of my own misery
leave my headphones at home when I have a long commute.
drink milk before going to sleep.
set up a single alarm.
interpret a hug as an attack.
walk on a fractured foot.
nest my heart inside a wired cage.
repel close proximity.
dip my toes in turbulent waters.
open a jelly jar expecting to find jelly.
long for a land that will never learn how to pronounce my name.
expect a broken plate to weld itself back to wholeness.
this is an exercise of memory and imagination
sitting on a hammock under the fig tree
the shade of the rustling leaves covers my body in waves.
i let my feet sway back and forth halfheartedly
halting only once I find myself engulfed
within the familiar sweetness of stir-fried onions and tomatoes.
like in a framed picture,
i spot mamama cooking piqueito through the vine covered window
as a swarm of bees thirsty for nectar hovers menacingly right outside.
but in her solemn distant calmness she remains completely unbothered
and instead solely focuses on stirring the pot.
scorpio with venus in scorpio
we’ve consumed each other
time and time again for a century's worth
like avid pollo a la brasa connoisseurs
cracking skinned bones with their teeth
then sucking marrow ‘til the last drop.
Mari Santa Cruz is a bilingual Peruvian writer currently based in Lima, Peru. She specializes in free verse poetry and is a co-founder and editor of La Liga Zine (September 2015). You can find her on twitter: @msantc3