First Sorrow Transcript

By: Natalia Treviño

+++++For the mothers who have lost their children to the state

And a sword will pierce
through your own soul also,
that thoughts out of many hearts
may be revealed
, said Simeon,
revealed like the surface
of a dog’s freckled tongue
the pink silk lilt of it
as she pants under the sun,
little dip to hold one drop of water
at a time, a maw harmless,
but for its lengthy browned enamels–
sharp enough to open a body
should the dog choose, and for what
so much revealing, Simeon? Why
the sword-words, thoughts of many
meant to frighten child bride
Mary? Why unlock your jaw
to reveal the slow matter of decay
on a bus, a curb, or a cross–
that dark desire, every mother’s
first fear and sorrow.

and if I pray this right,
++++I am to remember
++++++++++++++++that I too pierce

her soul, the pink, silk lilt of it, the fullness
of her grace, the moment she knew the future
end of her newborn, that he would die this way,
and her body still a seething wound,
washrag just in case between her legs
to catch the holy rubies of her final
drippings, the shimmering ripped lusters
inside her startled by this call for burn,
for blood, for body-ash, Simeon’s prophecy
unfolding like skins revealing latent
prowlers crouched, kills in site,
their desire to chew tart blood, to press
knees to necks, so much writing
on the wall: the state as the thoughts
of many hearts, the people,
raining down with blood-stained

Natalia Treviño
Natalia has won several awards for her poetry and fiction including the 2004 Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award, the 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2012 Literary Award from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio. Natalia’s fiction appears in Mirrors Beneath the Earth (Curbstone Press), The Platte Valley Review, and her non-fiction appears in in Wising Up Anthologies, Complex Allegiances and Shifting Balance Sheets: Women’s Stories of Naturalized Citizens. Her first book of poetry, Lavando La Dirty Laundry, is available from Mongrel Empire Press and most online bookstores. Her work captures the voices and lives of women who emerge despite everything that works tirelessly against them.
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