El Sapo 

by Maria Esquinca
My mom turned into a giant toad. 
I found her in Aguascalientes,
in the jutted rocky
of El Cerro del Muerto. 
A swarm of locusts 
sashayed in secrecy 
around us. 
Her brown skin, 
now gleamed green. 
Her once thin body,
now bulbous and mottled
left no trace of her soft wrinkles. 
Her toes, still calloused
looked like plastic cauliflower, 
and her legs, even thinner now, 
tapped tapped tapped
to a tune only she could hear. 
Gone was the metal plaque 
that ran along her right hip. 
Had fixed her limp. Chueca
my father would call her. 
Now, she wasn’t crooked. 
Gone was the jagged scar 
that ran across her stomach. 
The place of incision
where doctors ripped
me out of her womb,
and my brother,
and my sister too. 
Her chest ballooned, 
summoned the sounds 
of a caged monster.
Croaked things
she had never told me before. 
She said she was 16
when she left México.
She cheated death in Juárez, 
squeezed through the slit
of a bathroom window, 
escaped a serial rapist.
She was all over the news, 
en el canal 44. 
She told me she forgave 
her mother
and her father,
and I should too. 
Then she regurgitated her insides, 
hurled a fountain of flesh and flies,
left a hollow carcass at my feet, crooned