More daunting still

At the bottom of my bathroom sink, six ants hustle then wait in vain
searching for a way out. I feel like that often. Scratching around for
the familiar; in vain retracing steps to the mother-land-tongue. In
dreams I don’t need clothes and live in a waterhole where fish and
birds, mothers and fathers speak to me clearly and I to them. We
bridge each other. Awake I am bereft and language is especially of no
help. Thoughts swell gathering toward breath but the words shrivel back
yet unformed. I stare at you mama, mama, mama, waiting for a word
to bring me closer to you, wishing for the time before parrots ate my
tongue. Longing is a long dark corridor with no windows. Esophagus
leads to stomach and its pit bulges surrendering to the aching reach of
what we’ve lost. The hoarder fills drawers with socks and when all
the drawers get filled then fills garages with televisions, lawn mowers,
towels, sweaters. Anything. The ants want to return home. I do too.
When in darkness I find the Rosary sometimes helps. Vanity even so.
Oh pernicious, malicious, delicious Vanity. What will it be?
Raisin Rage or Mexican Rose on my lips this morning?

More by Claudia Castro Luna


From a coffee cup’s sweet bitterness into cold wind swept knowing that the place you search and yearn for is nowhere, no street names, no city gate. No degrees nor longitudinal measures to speak of. A compass can be useless when you are lost. Nowhere multiplies in your chest ravenous, like yeast. It hurts. The exact second, your shadow on the pavement. Sometimes your life is a minute ahead and a few days behind the place you want to be. Sometimes things align and you want to tear a piece of the shadow as you would a piece from a loaf of bread. But this place you search has no replicable terrain, no map. It moves as you move. A shapeshifter with a tropic of memory, a tropic of fear, a meridian to decide you can and an equator to know you choose.

María Cristina Hanging Chrysalis

What would I do
for a smidgeon
of your rebellion María?
As a woman to trust
the halo of your intuition
I know you know
courage plummets
easily from cliffs of doubt
both imposed and self harvested—
How to make manifest
what the mind knows
but the eye cannot yet see?
How to pluck Hope 
from the terraced gardens
where it grows?
I think about the nature of change
the transfiguration from grain to woman
the audacity of salt to embolden water into ocean
the urge to break free

Epicurean Matters

International and East 14th Tacos Mi Rancho.
International and 22nd Tacos Sinaloa. International
and 24th Tacos Mi Gloria. International Boulevard
asphalt corrido of carnitas and pupusas de chicharrón.
I.C.E. cuotas and remittance receipts. International
and 54th Tacos Los Amigos. Boa de carne asada. Boca
de lengua frita. Census projections. Future vote tally.
And heart, corazón de rábano, red and crunchy and
pulsing with the energy of all of Guadalupe’s children
who are many, muchos, son muchos, muchos somos.
International and 80th Flor de Jalisco. On each
corner, a four wheeled sentinel guarding the memory
of home. Stand in line, home comes wrapped up,
calientito, inside a tortilla. International and 90th Tacos
Union. And though warm, the bitter seeps in.