April 24, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Peg Hunter photo



Gabriela M




Somewhere along the border



mama, I can’t see the road

the desert’s cold

there is no moon

I’m hungry and Juan is crying

how long we have to wait till dawn?

there are some people around us

i do not understand their words

this place smells rotten food

there are some cars like I have never seen before

where are they taking papa?


they are taking uncle Jorge too

I want my toys

I want my blanket

the one embroidered all in blue

why is everybody screaming?


where are you?





San Salvador



Rosibel sits barefoot on muddy floors

a rotten corn tortilla in her little hands

there are no windows, and there are no doors

putrefied, the minutes track the stink of death

papa left somewhere toward the North

mama harvests sugarcane with wounded hands

blood gushes out in the streets

last night

the colors of a mortuary sunset sung

from her tortilla Rosibel decides to bite

the taste of her own tears swollen on her tongue


Oh, Holy Saviors, San Salvador

I promise you

like Mary Magdalen I’ll find the tomb

for those who brought you to your knees

I’ll make the time of judgement to strike soon







Gabriela M

Gabriela M. is a US university professor and the author of three novels. Her poetry was published by Spillwords Press, STRAW #zine (London), Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, Indian Periodical, and Gioielli Rubati Poetry:32 (translated in Italian by Flavio Almerighi).

Her poem “come back to me” was included in the anthology America’s Emerging Poets Southeast Region (Z Publishing House, December 13, 2018).

Christina Schwarz, the author of the New York Times Bestseller “Drowning Ruth,” on Gabriela M’s poetry:

“With lush language and lavish imagery, Gabriela M. evokes a fantastic world ripe with emotion.” – Christina Schwartz 

Editor review


  1. Mario Savioni May 07, at 18:00

    “this place smells [of] rotten food,” but you do manifest a possible conversation along the border. This line “Rosibel sits barefoot on muddy floors a rotten corn tortilla in her little hands” seems to possess too many syllables. I would leave “little” out and describe her tininess with another line or others focusing on this factor. Maybe this one too: “there are no windows, and there are no doors” could be shortened to: “there are no windows, no doors.” “putrefied, the minutes track the stink of death,” who can stand being in the presence of decay? I once stood on the other side of a door, where flies were trying to get underneath. I knew someone had died. I did not wait there once I knew. I called the HOA. And the minutes do not track the scent. We run from it. And the minutes are not putrefied. Minutes, or time, seems to be separate from something so horrifying. Instead, the horror if we are so contained, is the thing that stops time, dismisses us, like dying itself seems to conjure flash backs or so people have said. But, I have died and there was no memory while I was dead, only the moment, where I stood sweating then passing out. . so the minutes, putrefied, track the stink of death. This too seems too unreal: “blood gushes out in the streets.” I had a pipe break, where hot water exploded into my hands and the amount seemed unceasing. I would never associate bodily fluids in such volume. It might possess the initial explosion, but to gush, it seems, like a broken water main, does not satisfy my brain. Nor to me do the colors of a mortuary sunset sing. I do not understand how the taste of tears swells on her tongue. Here too, you will find *a,* not “the” tomb, kill those, who brought the people of San Salvador to their knees. Why would you waste time looking for a place to put people you hated? And to associate them with Jesus? The implication is that they were resurrected. But, only Jesus was resurrected because he was God and suffered for the sins of man. The people, who brought people to their knees need to be torn asunder and left to rot. You punish them, not celebrate. daughter-in-law out of hatred? Instead, all you would care about would be to punish them? Let them rot where they fall!

  2. Katy April 27, at 11:15

    So powerful, Gabriela. Breaks my heart....?


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