“The Shell” and other poems

Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro


The Shell 

when no thing is named
how safe, to be beautiful
in the morning 
a shell

when water is milk

green, we are carven 
rinds braided in veins

every touch is a line
of measure, appellation  

is to be waded by 
fingers or hewn in 

silt, etched


(for April Freely)

say skin is the mild 
gauze of time, a coastal

no force may harm you

that air brushes our
lacrimal and we brace

endless, even in going
a scent remains


it was not you, it was
the voice of a family

singing by the window 
for food or water

their guttural instrument
woke me in rain 

it was their hands
stretched at the balcony
that made my chest 
thrust blood, feel

what I hear now as
a fibrous heartbeat

before these tulips 
curled at the table
in new york city

Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro is a writer and translator. She is the editor of Dream of Europe: selected seminars and interviews: 1984-1992 (Kenning Editions, 2020). Her writing and contributions appear in Social Text Journal, The Poetry Project Newsletter and South As a State of Mind among others. Rodríguez lives in New York.

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