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Martina Reisz Newberry: Ode to Escrava Anastacia

You had to know you were 

a figment of my imaginings. 

I dreamed you up from stones 

and comic strips, glacier lillies.

You thought your sweet eyes and 

magical tongue were real, yes? You thought 

that your hair, dark, over 

one shoulder as you slept (smelling of 

chamomile and sweet grass).

was as real as bread, as physical 

as candle wax. Surprise! 

I created you during those times

of doubt and self-flagellation that filled 

my life. I embraced you 

as a substitute for pain, fucked you 

in lieu of fear, drank you 

instead of regret’s ale. Dear phantom, 

I have nothing save love 

for you. Your entrance and exit have 

steadied me, taken me 

From speaking in tongues—a mad farmwife—

to a woman driving 

the same sad miles other women drive. 

Spirit, we sit calmly 

under separate skies. No one would 

ever guess the depth of 

ashes our volcano created. 

Only fire, never ice.

Author’s note: Escrava Anastacia is a popular saint venerated in Brazil. A slave woman of African descent, Anastacia is depicted as possessing incredible beauty, having piercing blue eyes and wearing an oppressive facemask.  She is venerated for her healing powers and her patience under hardship.

Escrava Anastacia (from Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia)

Copyright 2020 Martina Reisz Newberry. From Blues for French Roast with Chicory by Martina Reisz Newberry (Deerbrook Editions, 2020).

One comment on “Martina Reisz Newberry: Ode to Escrava Anastacia

  1. Vincent Spina
    December 31, 2020

    Wonderful poem; places the every day on to the level of myth.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 30, 2020 by in Art and Cinema, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , .

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