209: Discovery

209: Discovery

209: Discovery

by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Read the automated transcript.

Her knees are caves, her belly
home to a colony

of snakes. I draw maps
of lands she’s never seen

on the palms of her hands.
My arms, a river

that floods her throat. Her thirst,
a tongue washed

with charcoal. Say: Help.
She will show me how

to harvest the roots
of any tree. Say: Sky.

I’ll pinch every inch
of her skin. I named her

America, because I own
her body & her child’s.

Every river down her arms
I must rename. When I got

the cartography wrong
I said: Tear the map

in half so we won’t
get confused. America’s hands

bled & bled. I told her:
Clean it up.

"Discovery" by Natalie Scenters-Zapico, from LIMA :: LIMÓN by Natalie Scenters-Zapico, copyright © 2019 Copper Canyon Press. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press.