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  • Notes from My Backyard
  • Teresita L. Perez (bio)


I carry guava peel and seeds behind my housewalking through mud paths that lead to youroutstretched roots.I bury these cut up piecesof your former self; my fingersdig the earth, preparing your transmutation.Does this please you, I ask,prayingthat the violence of our maws and paring knivesyour sacrifice in my handsmay be acceptable to you.


And I look at a banana leaf birthed in darknessa shadow as big as my thighsat Venus, silent and unassumingand my calendar for dates

I keep watch over my insanityand my manufactured Collective

the trees say nothing


The wild boar rooted through the broken places at dusk, knocking down boundaries. Estrus on the minivan, the gliding lawn chair, and the rusting Kenmore. Its frenzied stickiness glued to metal conquests, muddied claw marks down the walls like a fingernail kink. In the morning, resting at the back, heaving chest and gasping air, his eyes, soft, determined. But [End Page 5] Fish and Wildlife arrived in a shiny white four-by. Blood stained the sidewalk out back.

The ancestors lingered all the next day. So did my sadness.

The neighbor said, "Your backyard is comforting."

I burned my palms. [End Page 6]

Teresita L. Perez

Teresita L. Perez teaches composition to college freshmen and does mother and daughter stuff at home when she's not teaching. She sneaks in writing time and has so far been published in Indigenous Literatures of Micronesia and retold legends in CHamoru Legends: A Gathering of Stories.