Almendares by Sandra M. Castillo

Almendares by Sandra M. Castillo

 for Tía Estela

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Blood puddles on the Spanish-white floor                                  like a

secret no one talks about,

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though everyone feeds it, like imagination,                              with hushed

conversation translating into fear,

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into memories I am told were never real,                                   though rooms

roared like the morning lion

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that hid in the closets of the upstairs apartment                        you rented to

a woman who couldn’t understand

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why dawn found her undergarments scattered                          on the steps

of her life,

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a display of familiarity or intimacy,                                                and

patterned echoes yawned like voices trapped

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between the clavicles of the past                                                     where

opaque breaths,

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calling us to maids quarters long sealed,                                     sounded like

the wind between the caves

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of the underworld we thought would swallow us                         into

darkness we opened looking for sounds,

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for hands folding into knocks,                                                  for mouths

moving into vowels, words,

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for someone invisible who woke you                                            to

midnight weight pressing upon you

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with the invisible thrust of unfamiliar desire                             until you

could feel the invisible moving inside you

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and a hot breath, never your own, equaling pain,                      dividing

fear into stories that kept us looking                                  for what we never

found.

 ✥ ✦ ✥

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