She comes for the children
I cannot have, crushes the seeds

of them in her blood-black mouth.
In the first dream of her, she buries

my daughter inside the cypress tree
that reaches up from the bottom

of dark water.  In another, I stand
at the banks as she plucks each clear cell

from my body, tosses them into the river.
Mis hijos, my children.  This is my solitary

grief: I watch them disappear
among reeds, the murk of singing

frogs and fish. I wake and hear her
song fill the mouths of nightbirds,

want this to be only the wind.  Her voice
climbs the gnarled branches

against the shutters, drowns the sounds
of red berries tapping the windowpane.


Amanda Auchter



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