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.