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Stephanie Adams-Santos

Stephanie Adams-Santos is the author of Swarm Queen’s Crown (Fathom Books, 2016), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Best Lesbian Poetry. She is a multi-genre Guatemalan-American writer, and lives between Los Angeles, California, and Portland, Oregon.

By This Poet


from Xibalba [Outside the water sings]

Outside the water sings 
its tortuous note, 
devoid of the parrot, 
devoid of the quetzal.

A song without ears, 
a dry silk wrapped around the throat, 
neither warm nor cold 
but a vacillation between the two. 

A hammer swinging 
through the aether of the flesh, 

the mind’s red line. 

Tonight a part of me shivers, liking it, 
my whole body in one place, 
where steel drags along. 

I wonder if the body wants more 
to open or to shut.