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Salado

Iguana
By Gerrit Jan Schouten , 1884., Public Domain

 

Salado

In Maracaibo, being unlucky translates

to salty. You are salado, brackish, bad luck

swallows you and spits you out like an ocean

wave. It is never done with you. I am

salty. Mama found an iguana under

the kitchen table this morning. While everyone

was out scaring the green monster away, I

sprayed her French perfume on my hand. It smelled

like her during hugs post-dinners—its fragrance lingers

on her plastic-covered couches. Scent particles flew

into a fan, a brushed nickel finish apparatus,

and out into her bedroom. I held out my hand

in front of the fan, as if it to stop physics. it chopped

off my fingertip. As my relatives clean the bloodspots

from my dress—they’re huddled up around me, on their knees

the iguana they chased off earlier is walking

underneath my bed. I’ll drop something at night,

and when the lights are off, feel

its scales through my bandage.

 

Ana Hurtado, Miedo al Olvido: Poems from an Uprooted Girl
(Bloof Books Chapbook Series, 2019)

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