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Rhapsody of My Horizons

By Adrianna Sanchez-Lopez

Early in the morning, before the sun elongates her limbs through darkness, I watch you watching me and I don’t want to hear I love you; instead, I want to stretch my body into dawn’s vast reach, tongue unsubdued—reckless, tasting the shape of language like fermented earth, like air, I whisper: husband mine/sagrada tierra/misericordia/swallow my heart/digest it in the four chambers of yours/breathe through the pores of my lungs until each exhale squalls through this bruised lacuna between us, my secrets escaping your organs, unveiling my distorted reflection as if it’s staring back at me; carbon dioxide escaping lips like an explication, searching, refrain after refrain until you understand why I cringe away from touch (even your touch), gripping my mom’s pain with clenched teeth; eyes closed, her spirit crushed to colorless dust strewn across cold linoleum; witness how two quick blows to her abdomen recur in my dreams while my father turns, walks away and leaves child-me to run to her ashen remains; witness as decades later, still thinking about this moment, adult-me checks her pulse, removes her oxygen tube, calls hospice to confirm her death, levers the window open for doves to carry her soul away—I want you to know these junctions like I know them; wild, rapacious sounds gush from my lips: sanguis/sangre/blood—pebbles of speech pocketed into small, nebulous lexicons: from childhood Sundays spent at mass; from listening at my grandma’s kitchen table; from mourning the many devastations of my mother, craving the safety of your earth like a hunger in me that seeps into every splinter of memory, every dream, every lie, every promise (fear) that threatens with poisonous, rotting seams.

Adrianna Sanchez-Lopez is a writer, teacher, and mother living in the San Luis Valley.

Photo by Jason Thayer.


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