Antidote

Her body

needed

to twist away

the tension

bend it’s back

to open the

chest

to flow in

Sync with breathe

to the now.

A memo

To my fellow teachers

Reading rosters

with names that

don’t roll off the tongue

the names that require

extra thought

extra effort and

the respect to be pronounced correctly

there’s always

an Appreciation

for the attempts

And there’s always a story

mine is of a soap opera

a Gypsy in love with a naval officer

the story of how

ye

Makes a j

Sound in

Spanish class

the only teachers

who could say it

without hesitation

my five-year-old self

changed my name to Sonia

while visiting Perú

because it made more friends

This for the names

that don’t appear on

souvenir cups

plates

or shirts

My student told me

most of my teachers

can’t say my name and it’s OK

and I told her no

they need to just say it

no matter how many times it takes.

La vida

Walking

Blindfolded with

a red scarf

on a tight rope

Senses electrified

Core strong

Feet fulfilled with faith

Yesterday

Smooth Jazz

Sunday afternoon

easy like

black leather couches

flowing like

two lovers on a dance floor

Jazz sounds that smell

like mahogany.

Subway encounters

Sitting with navy blue

bleach stained sweatpants

La Virgencita dangling

from her young neck

Golden hoops and a messy bun

of black hair, reaching inside

an Andean woven handbag

for Jon Krakauer ‘s Missoula

Earmarked page 29

Reading, radiating

power.