Muse: Found in Magical Realism

Yesenia Montilla

From the selection of poetry curated by Eduardo C. Corral

She was born with lace gloves on.
It was a miracle.
Her hands were light                  & everything
she touched turned to something

It was a problem              clearly,
like when she learned to walk & went
about the house turning the furniture
into dolls. Porcelain everywhere—

Let’s not even talk about her father’s
face, the first time she touched his cheek
it was a tree, it offered her         shade
from the summer’s heat.

Imagine when she learned how to kiss
she was fascinated by lips & reached for them.
Her first love sported an elephant’s trunk
her second an owl’s boney beak.

I want to say that at some point she
learned to control it, that when lonely
she would walk out into the city streets
touch a street lamp & a lover would appear
his beard perfect for touching. But she 
was never able to, else he’d become another

thing.         Her ability grew unapologetic
she touched her breasts once & they grew
two sizes with orchid faces.

& did I mention she never mastered the art
of love                 fickle thing, how could she?
When everything she desired always turned
out to be            different.

Towards the end, she took off the gloves
to feel the world & it turned into a pile of
clovers, having lost everything she touched
her own body                    & became cattle
she ate the world                            ate it all—