Aboard the Transport Tesoro

At three a.m. my ribs ache
as if molten iron
pools into and over
the symbols etched in bone.
I cradle these calcium bars
that embrace
my lungs, my heart,
your soul.
Please, Bisabuela,
sea paciente.
Fighting only tightens
this curving, gaping cage
and wounds us both.
Would you salt
the valleys of my face?
Would you slit the silence
of three a.m. with screams?
If you escaped,
could you swim the vacuum
that surrounds this huddled craft,
the chasm deeper than death?
Sleep then, Bisabuela,
so I may sleep as well.
Soon I’ll kneel in Texas soil,
soon disgorge your ghost
amidst bouganvillea and prickly pear
gone wild in the garden
from which our clan dispersed.
Soon, I swear,
your line will be a circle.

(Editors’ Note: “Aboard the Transport Tesoro” is read by Amal El–Mohtar in the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, Episode 7B.)

Lisa M. Bradley

Lisa M. Bradley is a Tejana living in Iowa. Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including Cicada, Strange Horizons, and Here We Cross: A Collection of Queer and Genderfluid Poetry. Her first collection is The Haunted Girl (Aqueduct Press). She runs with a pretty sketchy crowd, but you’re welcome to follow her on Twitter (@cafenowhere). To read more of her work, see www.lisambradley.com.

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