Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Migrating Birds

Victor got a real sense of power
from making his own raisins. He’d buy
pounds and pounds of grapes
and leave them to dry 
on the kitchen table.


Theresa didn’t want to hear about 
her ex-husband’s cancer. Not on Father’s Day.
She took a train all night 
to have breakfast with her cousin. 
All Sunday she rode the train back.


Once Martin’s wife had left,
he decided to take advantage of her space.
He built a sauna where her closet was,
sat there every morning, to read the paper
and Buddha.


One night Helga wore her prettiest dress,
though she knew he wouldn’t be there.
She drank dry white, got drunk 
(she was on a diet), and fell down.
Later he saw the holes in her pantyhose.


María was usually bumping into
furniture. Each time she got closer to what
she wanted. "What do you want from me?"
"Nothing," he replied, so she took off
and felt like migrating birds. But many.

Credit


Poem previously published in Fence magazine. Reprinted by permission.

Author


Mónica de la Torre

Mónica de la Torre’s most recent book of poems and translations is Repetition Nineteen (Nightboat, 2020). She teaches at Brooklyn College and Bard’s MFA program.

Date Published: 2006-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/migrating-birds