“The path to paradise begins in hell.” Dante
In the womb, I fear my mother’s voice.
Every sob and sigh like acid, swimming around
like blue veins in my sea of red. I am not planned.
Not welcome or wanted with open arms.
A shot in the dark. Or whatever God wills.
Still, I can tell that she can’t wait to have me
out of her body. I am the dark honey
she spills over the toilet, sink, sometimes
bedroom walls. When I am born, she thinks
of an ocean big enough to cover the world.
Under his ratty red bedspread,
I fear coming. What the fuck
will it feel like? I say. A dirty explosion.
He smirks, and I am terrified
of the hole I will leave on the bed.
Stains? I ask. Only if
it’s good, he replies.
I let his mouth dance over muscled skin,
let his dick pull childhood out of me
like a fisherman drawing back his net,
every silver fish of my flesh shaking, trembling
with ohmygod and forced breath.
There is blood after ten days,
And I am safe from the usual side effects:
denial, regret, a lifetime of trying
to un-become my mother.
Fado for How I’d Like to Think You Remember Me
Imagine a mare splitting the tide
with its charging, the blue moon
cast-iron on its back as waves break
steady against its legs, its steady mane
a white flag in the wind as small hurricanes
of sand form behind
every graceful gallop.
Its eyes, red embers.
Its ears, a bluff’s shadow.
It’s mouth, the astral frenzy
of a Portuguese guitar.
Marina Carreira is a Luso-American writer from the Ironbound area of Newark, NJ. She holds a BA in English from Montclair State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University. She is curator and co-host of “Brick City Speaks”, a monthly reading series at Hell’s Kitchen Lounge in Newark, NJ. Her work is featured or forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Writing Disorder, Naugatuck River Review, Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora: An Anthology, and Paterson Literary Review.