Written by Luisana Cortez.
Graphic by Peyton Cabaniss.

To The Subjects of Graciela Iturbide’s Art

black & white tapestry of women, their backs

mirrors to the cloth of juan diego’s virgin. ink

flowing into skin, into paper, into a lonely

woman’s camera. once, the quinceañera was 

given a crown of iguanas.

once, a flock of chickens taking flight, mindless

of borders. once, my grandmother perching her

hands on her face, the cacti behind her waiting.

& we gathered at the cemetery with joy, drank

the contradictions of our race like old wine. 

what does it say that i dedicate a whole poem

to the vestiges of my childhood? 

somewhere within the grainy film sits a pregnant

desert and a microcosm of joy on the single

feather of an owl of a bruja of a country of 

the threshold between the eyes and memory. 

how else can mexico exist except in its vivid 

crudeness, except in its full voidness of color.

To The Subjects of Guillermo Del Toro’s Art

when i was a kid, i pretended i could hear the

talk of ghosts. my mother told me i wouldn’t

want to hear what they have to say. i cupped

dragonflies like my first fallen milk teeth, 

motioned to the small animals in the fields,

gathered twigs and incantations into a pot

to eat with lemon juice later. some pictures 

teemed with the living, horned and red, 
some with the dead, omnific and overgrown

with green. spanish children housed from 

the war, the spiral maze of corn a daily meal.

i noticed this, like the sharp phantom pain

of an amputated leg and the small gaze

of a fallen rocket crushed against my windowsill.

i sidled unto a sea and breathed again. all &

more in the course of a single lifetime. the horror,

the horror of revisiting beautiful images. the pain

of opening a fairy tale and seeing your reflection.

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