Poetry by Sol Camarena Medina: To write is to burn

Poetry by Sol Camarena Medina: To write is to burn


Content Warning: Police brutality mentions in combination with misogyny

To write is to burn

Me – I was the angel
and so you were the red in poppies. And vice versa. We dressed our wings up in decay
in hopes that begging for kisses
we’d get gold. Out of the skies. Out of the Moon. Out of wherever
even hungerless children keep crying – not there, we’re rejecting whatever’s
smelling of pity. Which is to say we’re rejecting incenses
igniting flesh.

I grew fish scales between my own legs
and keep spitting out ashes each step of the way. Since I got transformed on time
in order to stop this wounded lady wolves’ massacre. Since my eyes hurt
from looking through the translucent veil
covering the bride – she’s shaking her last gasps
and signing her marriage contract
even then, despite it all.

Bollera is Spanish for dyke and you’d spell it with a b
b as in bestiary
for an outcast botanist
for an old apothecary. Bollera
you don’t spell it with a v for vagina
nor with an h for homosexual – it’s an h for heretic
and for hysterical bruja – which is Spanish for witch. Bruja
you spell it with a b. My name
starts out with an s.

never unpicks. Violet
stains my cheeks. A half scarring wound
for each and every girl friend who’s crying. An unfinished kiss for each and every face
trembling out of alien pity and a shot into the air
for each and every local policeman
running for those attempting to stop an eviction. How many poems
are needed for talking death of dignity and faith withering
whenever someone attempts to wall in metaphors
spelt as in gag and pure shrapnel. You don’t spell justice
as in blood. Hordes
won’t cease crime.

Booklets for learning how to spell
and caressing the backs of lizards beneath the Sun –
those are treasures mama keeps stored inside a cabinet – never wondering
why there’s no more room left inside the wardrobe
she hasn’t even stored that many clothes.

I’m churning all inside. Tonight, I’m sleeping on my own. For tomorrow –
I’m building it up while awake
I’m sleeping backed and shouldered
by a thousand other women.