Every time I call my mother
I learn about the weather,
the unforgiving sun crippling the yellow plains,
the sermon at Sunday’s mass,
the full prescription record for her cold,
my father’s second glass of whiskey.
I feel a tender anger.
I recall the frost,
the week’s sharp evenings,
the heartbreak of this filthy winter,
the mellow memory of my aunt.
The town’s fair lanterns torch
in my stomach
as I mute and nod and remain absent
in a hand-crafted field of serene soil
where you could harvest all trouble.
Alicia Fernández was born in Spain and works in Leeds as a translator. Her poems have been featured online by Sleepy House Press and included in the anthology Freefall by Wellhouse Publications. Her first solo pamphlet will be published by Half Moon Books (formerly Otley Word Feast Press) in September.
Their bodies unexplored
will leave the earth to bury us
in the heat of summer storms
and recoil back to the soil
at the end of this favour.
They will serve us warm milk,
provide blankets, bags of crisps,
remind us of our predilection
for cherries and the hopelessly lonely.
They will leave our nerves numb.
Their hands will warm our bones,
peel our prawns, break pieces of chalk
in half and count to ten endlessly.
They will revel in the triumph of
gracing our dreams with their elegance.
By then I will have failed at being healthy
and having children; I will have given up
faith and smoking, liquor, intimacy.
When I join them, though,
I want the flowers to be bright yellow.
Alicia Fernández was born in Spain and works as a translator. Her poems have been featured online by the writing collective Sleepy House Press and in print in Seeking Ataraxia, both based in Manchester.