Illustration by Kat Morgan

for Marina Ruiz Rodríguez

1
I hide my sanity in a clay vase.
when I snore
only its broken rhythm remains.

2
as a child, I repeated the same dream: 20
centimeters from my face sharp little men
came alive, a single-line drawing.
I always wanted to touch them with my fingertips
but the edge of their body was a knife and I bled.

3
there is a house I always return to, several houses.
one is white and in ruins. to get
to the other one, you must go down the whole mountain.
sometimes, awake, I remember them and want
to go, but they don’t exist.

4
the dream is a suspension bridge a drawbridge
an old bridge a bridge made of metal
over a river. I cross the dream river and then
my mouth rips off the bridge with my teeth. the bridge
screams.

5
the dream gets interrupted because I’m thirsty.
I go to the kitchen for a glass of water.
inside there are colorful fish
fireworks
carnivorous flowers.
I drink.

6
now the dream is a garden I tend
painstakingly.
I plant a seed
then another and another and another.

I wait endlessly.
I am sowing dead kisses.

7
the immensity is empty. bright fish, red
and yellow, glide merrily through. it starts
to snow and I am alone and naked but
not afraid. hundreds of worms sketch
prophetic grooves beneath my feet, absolute
symbols. I get close to see. I imitate the contours
with my index finger. with my voice I give life
to those words. the origin of all names is
the origin. each phenome has its edge. bloody
scream in our contact. I make love, my body
grows. I push my hand in and fish. now I am
a rebellious horseman on the back of a dancing fish.
I recognize the feel of my first intoxication.
I spin and spin and spin. the world’s asleep.

8
I twist the mirror’s knob and open
inside there is a mirror with a knob
I twist the mirror’s knob and open
inside there is a mirror with a knob
I twist the mirror’s knob and open
inside there is a mirror with a knob…

9
I open my eyes. I am surrounded by clay jars and scales.
my body is tired. my whole
room under water. I feel as though I’ve dreamed
something terrible, but I don’t remember
what.

Nicole Cecilia Delgado

Nicole Cecilia Delgado is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and book artist. In 2016, she founded La Impresora, an editorial studio specializing in small-scale independent publishing. Her latest books include Apenas un cántaro: Poemas 2007-2017 (Ediciones Aguadulce, 2017) and Periodo especial (Aguadulce/La Impresora, 2019), which explores the socioeconomic mirror images between the Greater Antilles in light of Puerto Rico’s ongoing financial crisis. Delgado is widely regarded as one of the leading Puerto Rican poets of her generation, and as a cultural worker bringing together artists, activists, and writers from across the Americas.

Katie Marya

Katie Marya is a poet, translator, and installation artist originally from Atlanta, GA. She earned an MFA in poetry from Bennington College and is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing in at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her work has appeared in WaxingNorth American ReviewSouthern Indiana ReviewPrairie Schooner, and Five Points as the recipient of the 2018 James Dickey Prize for Poetry. She has received fellowships from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and Nebraska Arts Council. Her first full length poetry collection, Sugar Work, was the Editor's Choice for the 2020 Alice James Award and will be published in June 2022.