Show me how to conjure an axe to sever
the nautilus of a 500-year-old ship. I will swing it
wild, like it was born of my own pleasure-seeking flesh,
the blade a bone organizing the tilt of my pelvis,
a bleached white key to my architectural
center. Pick me up in a pulse of sinew and light.
Manipulate skillfully the elemental forces, wager
everything on a caress. I spill out onto the deck of pale-faced
men drenching their boots in the impossible.
Historical erasure begins in the mouth. I loll my tongue
in invocation: an anti-prayer to the tides, beseeching them to carry
progress backward to the old world.
Unname hispana, untouch communal sands.
If I can create life I can restore the logic of the gift—
• • •
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ANGELICA MARIA BARRAZA is a writer, teacher, lover, wanderer. She currently lives in the Inland Empire of California where she studies the intersections of race, gender, and experimental literary forms. Her forthcoming collection How to Know You’re Dreaming When You’re Dreaming, Lesson One won the 2021 Hillary Gravendyk Prize and will be published by Inlandia next year. Her creative and critical work can be found in Jacket2, the Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, and Bombay Gin, among others. Find her at angelicamariabarraza.com and @sunlightidentifiedwomxn.