Note from the Editors

 

   SEEING RED 

    ENDU(RED) ADMI(RED)
    DESI(RED) WONDE(RED)
    RUMO(RED) ADO(RED)
    ENAMO(RED) INSPI(RED)
    DISCOVE(RED) SAC(RED)
    HUNGE(RED) WONDE(RED)
    EXPLO(RED) FEATU(RED)
    AUTHO(RED) SEA(RED)
    DA(RED) UNCENSO(RED)
    SOA(RED) ADVENTU(RED)

 

 

    


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Cursing


The first curse they taught me in Santiago
was “Concha de tu madre” –
vile as you could get at twelve.
I translated it, my nascent Spanish
wondering what’s not to love about
“your mother’s womb.”

It sounded earthy, almost holy
nothing like the American equivalent.
The way they trembled in their school-boy shorts
as their lips pronounced the phrase—
the same nine-year-olds who taught me to smoke—
ushered me to an unknown space.

I pictured a white-skinned Nautilus
fluted chambers miming the ocean’s pull
and pondered the beauty of my own origami folds
the complex spiraled gate between my legs.

That was fifty years ago
but the words still resonate
along with memories of a family fast felled
by Pinochet’s murderous fist.

I hold it all inside, cling to the details
like butter cream rosettes.
I lost the cigarettes decades ago.
I still see the schoolboys lighting up
behind the train to Vina del Mar.

 

 

Sandra Anfang is a prize-winning Northern California teacher, poet, and visual artist. She is the author of four self-published poetry collections and several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetalk, San Francisco Peace and Hope, West Trestle Review, two Healdsburg Literary Guild anthologies, The Tower Journal, Clementine Poetry Journal and Spillway. Her new chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published earlier this year by Finishing Line Press. Sandra is a California Poet/Teacher in the schools and the founder and host of the monthly poetry series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma. To write, for her, is to breathe.

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