The day it happened something
like a sigh left her. My mother ran
frantically from room to room
dusting everything, making noise
out of nothing at all,
but my sister would not hear it—
she wanted that voice to linger
inside her like the smell
of thunder in the air.
I heard she was a small blossom
of a child. Her brain, like pulp,
exposed to the cruelty of things.
I heard she could not bear
to be born among orange groves,
to be lost in their fields.
If you ask my sister she will
tell you it was hardly a choice.
What choice is there but to survive.
THE ORACLE'S CURSE
You have not wept in ages;
speak only in riddles,
incantations–a blinking of lips.
How many travelers have kissed
your feet for a safe passage
onward? Every time
your righteous sight turns
a star bursts in the heavens,
falls on your lap, lifts
the veil around all things unknown.
What a pity your reflection
turns your eyes to stone.
THE MAN WITHOUT LEGS WALKS UP THE STAIRS
sits on the couch, dreams himself
a soccer star on the edge of world renown.
He no longer believes in gods or doctors,
and instead worships the solitary
tree outside his window who imparts
the knowledge of stones.
The man without legs has altogether
forgotten the meaning of music.
He enjoys the white hum
of his electric wheelchair, has taken
to smoking cigarettes that shrink
his heart and paint his lungs
the color of ripe plums.
He knows he has become the dreadful stereotype,
the plastic soldier: the brave little thing
that cannot move save by the will of others.
The old couple in front of the television set
were watching a battle epic together.
He always loved them: the guns, the blood,
the grand heroic deeds and famous names.
Loud noise rumbled from speakers
their favorite son gifted him last Christmas,
and under their force the glass swan
on the table came to life in little earthquakes.
The woman at his side was never there.
She imagined somewhere in the world tectonic
plates kissed and when their lips parted
great waves dropped like ripe fruit.
That is how she fell out of love:
the ocean ebbed, revealed its tumors.
Then—with the force of years—crashed all around.
RACIEL ALONSO is a senior Spanish Literature major at the University of Florida. She was introduced to poetry at an early age by her father and started writing by the time she was 14 years old. "I've been published in several literary and online magazines including The Mangrove Review, Tea Literary Magazine and Centrifugal Eye."
RACIEL says, "The motivation behind my poems is fairly personal, but suffice it to say that each poem tries to capture an important episode in my life."