The witch walks me through ferns
and twisted trunks. She plucks tongues
of leaves, handfuls of reddish petals.
It's a sick thing to keep secrets,
and so she has me chew the perfumed
leaves of truth. Suddenly I am
speaking fast, about my mother's death,
about the shaggy wolf of grief.
Finally the witch quiets me, presses her
lips to mine––a suction kiss that draws
out the serum. She says quickly that she
is sorry. She cannot be my mother
and has no idea if I can be healed.
206 The Paris-American
Jacob Shores-Argüello is a Costa Rican American poet, fiction writer, and translator. He is the author of In The Absence of Clocks, which was awarded the 2011 Crab Orchard Series Open Competition, judged by Yusef Komunyakaa. Jacob is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Ukraine, the Dzanc Books ILP International Literature Award, The Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Provincetown, the Djerassi Resident Artist’s Fellowship, and the Amy Clampitt residency in Lenox, MA. His second manuscript Paraíso has been selected for the inaugural CantoMundo Poetry Prize and will be coming out in 2017. His work appears in The New Yorker, Guernica, and The Journal.
Luisa Muradyan Tannahill