Mujer Malvada

To La Siguanaba

I sprout from your black
waters—arms rooting 
to earth, bajo luna del lago
Coatepque. I am birthed
from your memory, given
a new skin and hide
to brush and braid, ashes
de Izalco dusting my hair. 

My hands, still my hands,
marked by your myth:
calloused, rope-burned, 
nails sharpened to blade.

My face, still my face,
goes missing sometimes
(just like yours, Sihuehuet.)

My body, my body,
safe because you took
yours back. Safe because
you took theirs instead. 

Copyright © 2023 by Janel Pineda. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 3, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.