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.)

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Lisa M. Bradley

Lisa M. Bradley’s first collection of short fiction and poetry is The Haunted Girl (Aqueduct Press, 2014). Her poetry has appeared in numerous venues, including Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Cicada, and Weird Tales. A Latina writer of Tejano heritage, Lisa lives in Iowa with her spouse, child, and two cats. She is currently working on a fantasy novel set on the Texas–Mexico border in the 1930s. Her website is www.lisambradley.com. You can also find her on Twitter as @cafenowhere.

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