Of Cannibals

With these five bones, human bones,
Doctor Chanca makes me a cannibal
by arranging feathers from the hand
of another cannibal

I lick the doctor’s bones and the shredded
meat of Pedro Mártir,
which I had saved
in the kitchen

They are well-dressed, sadly,
among the words like spices
words like spices
from a crudely discovered



which refers to eating a member
of one’s group; which denotes the consumption
of strangers; which means swallowing
parts of one’s own body
at the most.

human flesh for its flavor and nutritional
import; to absorb the spiritual essence
of the deceased; to resolve a state
of crisis; to determine

what I’m missing, what you’ve left

presenting the evidence, presenting


Rafael%20Acevedo.jpgRafael Acevedo is the author of three novels and six collections of poetry; La Moneda de Sal is his most recent. He contributes regularly to El Nuevo Día, and is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras.


Ricardo Alberto Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Perihelion, Denver Quarterly, and Bateau. He works at the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y.

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