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Winter Maple

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Sumi ink on paper
52" x 80"

Emily Brown

HEARTBURN

TAK Erzinger

Yesterday I discovered what anaemia is:

quiet snowflakes turned the sky pale,

the grass capped in frost or is it called escarcha?

I whisper the word and try to hold on to it,

the way my tongue pushes against my teeth.

The day my mother departed,

cold moved in and innocence was frozen,

along with my meaning of all those words:

mami,       madré,       hija,        niña,

tongue-tied something got lost in translation.

They’ve given me iron to strengthen me,

if only it could forge us back together.

I try to eat my way back to you, so much flesh and blood.

I try to recover every dish you made me but I’m

still hungry, surrounded by empty plates

and the aroma of what was served.

Waves of indigestion chase me out of a dream.

TAK Erzinger is an American/Swiss poet and artist with a Colombian background. Her poetry has been featured in Bien Acompañada from Cornell University, The Muse from McMaster University, River and South Review, Wilkes University, and more. Her poetry manuscript At the Foot of the Mountain was short-listed by the Eyelands Book Awards and Willow Run Poetry Award (Hidden River Press). It has now been published by Floricanto Press out of California (2021) and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more. Her first audio drama, Stella’s Constellation, has been produced by Alt.Stories and Fake Realities Podcasts, out of the UK. She lives in a Swiss valley with her husband and cats.

Emily Brown has drawn and painted all her life, mostly while also repairing, teaching, mothering, protesting, or listening. Philadelphia was her home until 2019 when she moved to New York’s Hudson Highlands. More can be seen at www.emilybrown.net.