17 crosses on the river & he cuts the engine to show us the first one
proud fisherman-turned-tour guide
who earlier this morning hoisted a rope,
slick & wet, from the water
one end tied to the platform
the other to a net
swollen with oysters.
The moon was still out & the boat tilted as everyone leaned over its side,
port. please, teach me, I hear myself say
Silvio’s words return to me like waves,
lapping against the edges of my third eye.
“Say it as if there is no obligation.”
“Schto mutu grata,”
Silvio, I fall in love with men like you.
But this morning, under this moon on this water,
(which admittedly is all water & all moons)
I count cruceiros, Rio Ulla, no time for love.
I let the river enter me } open mouth rolling language.
Vien del mar de Arousa,
Only forward momentum:
a body transported over sea
in a stone boat, Palestine to Pedron
& back again to
Here, a body becomes reliquary.
Houses fruit like gold
saltwater on its lips.
Christina Butcher is a Chicana poet, publisher and veteran from New Mexico. Christina also works with Write253, serving as a teaching artist and event coordinator for the annual teen poetry slam, Louder Than A Bomb – Tacoma. She’s passionate about language and culture, storytelling, and community involvement.