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  • Ananguish, and: Palp/ Antenna/ Tentaculary
  • Jamila Medina Ríos (bio)
    Translated from Spanish by Katherine M. Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez


texts texts textstexturesshuttlestheir cries (at)tack your skullthey spring from it like petalsand pronto: your entire head crownedprickled with words

it's not healthy to (see)m a sunflower—god doesn't dawnand they swipe from you the looking spotdesolatedpath—it's not healthy a laureate headlater loses its leaveslike a cut branch from the greenhouseand the crystals growing on itbreak in two silentlysnuffed: from candlesthey spark toward the inside oh flametoo close to the picture windowabruptagape

to let your head grow toward the inside—anahydropical—closes all the mouths that speak in your earthe veins bite(you)flees the floodgates the pores the lacecares for portrait of you [End Page 46] if you keep letting those texts textsdance on your headthat you should cut off alreadybloodletting to extract the otherif you let them tetherstake root in your neckthreads pointing out passages out (afuera afuera)flesh towardtheoutsideof you

if you let them tie each one to your hand footcheek (offered)you'll toll in a hundred pieces scattered—bellwetherparticipant—eyes hanging faceout

it's anasphyxiation you should buildtoward you you must bend your forehead yourunfold toward that mirror you've let fog upmournful (stuffed with clay)mouth open looklike a leech on the glass—observer of the other—

(s)cores (s)cores (s)corestaxidermy of yousow a spot and plunge into your mouth :throatdown for always.

i don't want to see(your) bubblesmurble burble from your lipdesperate breathnostalgic for the otherwords unleashed hoping to c(all)—allude—referentreflex

breathinsidefelling felling fellinghave the meticulous civility to present to the air:a head (at last) decrowned. [End Page 47]

Palp/ Antenna/ Tentaculary

Silently I pour over the soothing music in methat follows the chaosthe kicking of fingers suctionedby the thirsty pink.

In dampness what peace can be foundin the dismal in the delay on the eveof the centipede of palpsdeserting the baptistery in trembleswhat dryness to hold onto what hollowsto stuff the sucker in:an em(brace) settling to root around abovebody for shoulders scarcelyhand calloused in colonnadeand stumps for legsupdownand backforth swung bridleless.

If I can't touch bottom if feeling my way I can't find the switchthe handle: bowl or cone(horn) open to lickingif I don't muzzle night's cabinsor bury fingers in hairI don't let goI don't regurgitate the leap.

Scraping the dogtoothspar with a spoonfingertips sunken in rosewaterhands entering the springI last centuries

yetwhen the day's toolsare gatheredI don't stay still in me:

fearing the damagetongue slithering on brain wallssearching for dart and closure [End Page 48] the unearthingthe hideout in the othercracking the chestof the explorer.

I was already in that grottopulled burning fingersfrom the water waspand the center flamed pinkand the tips flamed pinkhiding headlongin the spring of such things.

There is a tongue of desireI swallow when blowsof foam comeand my body crypt riseslike a spider like a serpentemasculated with a stickan earth hornet's nest.

To see me fall silent to see me fallthe swing bridges lower.

Palp-icarus-antennaI stretch out one more nightsearching for the tips of my toesthe middle of my unwashed backthe soft waistland of my cranium.

Will the anemonarium settle downstirred upby the dawn of wanton fingersor must I darken the tipsand stretch out the palmlike Lady Lazaruscutting them to fall?

I just sayfor each palpa tentacle. [End Page 49]

Jamila Medina Ríos

Jamila Medina Ríos (Holguin, 1981) is a poet, prose writer, essayist, and editor. She won...


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