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October 2020

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Lucía Orellana-Damacela is the author of Sea of Rocks (Unsolicited Press, 2018), the chapbooks Longevity River (Plan B Press, 2019), Life Lines (winner of The Bitchin' Kitsch Chapbook Competition, 2018), and InHERent (Fly on the Wall Press, forthcoming in 2020). Her poetry, prose and translations have been published in more than twelve countries in both English and Spanish in venues such as Tin House Online, Carve Magazine, The Bitter Oleander, Cha, and The Acentos Review. Lucía tweets at @lucyda and blogs at

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An air-sucking candle by the window sheds the only light
while thousand knives of rain
slice the world into shreds of grey
memory sews back together.

The road a gigantic aqueduct
downstreams a mixture of sky water
and disgorges from the insides of town.

Without asking permission or forgiveness,
water stains the back fence,
the sheds wall and leaky roof,
the air, the night’s silver.

Outside warped by a screen of disfigured sounds
and crashing images, nature’s Rorschach,
shuddering with the ghosts
who find their way home amidst the thunder.

What is it about rain which unburies fears and regrets
left to rot next to the garden hose?
Opaque puddles along the formerly even ground
wait for the dark to set its trap.

After rain, the essence of everything
which has a stake at life.
Freshly crushed grass and tilled soil.
The smell of second chances and redemption.

Poem originally published in Orbis Magazine, part of the forthcoming collection

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Stretch my canvased back
to the yellow paint-brushes of the morning

let sweat overtake the pores on the path
under sycamores and lindens

scream and hear it
over the shower’s hollow downpour

watch rhododendrons cast their mauve name
on a fence visible from my bathroom window

bake handmade scones from a recipe in Japanese
in a place that is not a desert

forget the umbrella today
and remember to take it tomorrow

visit the old house still standing
between a dream and the corner shop

step into a room so knitted with cobwebs
that mind blowing doesn’t disperse them

come out to a sunny June day
right in front of the ice cream truck

ask for directions
and receive a Chinese ink drawing

find the missing bookmark (the one made of lace)
in The Aleph on the night stand

whisper in the spine
that holds the words together

Memory tattoos, happiness,
If you think about it; a stitch work.

Poem from the collection Sea of Rocks (Unsolicited Press).

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nor shadow
could stop you
The unfamiliar register
of the surrounding echoes
fireflies which first buzz like
tamed sea foam licking your hands
and then intensify to the decibel level
of rising waves crashing against your inner
silence which is not silence after all as your body
resonates with your signature frequency and the soundwaves
of your voice travel with an energy that at some point ceases to be
your voice but is still energy out in the world. Time cresting luminous around you.

A slightly different version of this poem was first published in In the Name of the Voice.

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A wall of rhododendrons
overruns my kitchen window’s visual field.
Floral friezes carefully cultured to fence communities
—shroud that shows and covers up
the chasms that set us apart.
The politician who lives there gave a potted shrub
to his wife as a birthday present
—I know it because she said so on national television—
and I guess they grew them from there.
Bold, mauve, and bodacious, their scent rides the wind
that informs the air I breathe outside my house.

Who knew, seeing them so ornate, how wicked they could be.
Two hikers rescued from a dense rhododendrons forest
in a mountain slope by a lake were unable, for hours,
to find a way out of their exuberant encasement
—the intricate irony of looking for the great outdoors
and winding up ensnared by bloomy gorgons.

Left to their own devices, these creatures proliferate
and block out the sunlight from their domains:
nothing else grows but them.
Barren so(i/u)ls all there is under their guard.

Poem originally published in the Luminous Echoes Anthology, Into the Void.

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rusty a ferry on land miles away from
shore, the upheaval of the grass hermits
it but from the moon, a stalwart witness
of sorts, up there, as if just consecrated
sacred like a question about final
destinations and origins. Where were
you before?     The secret story of this
misplacement seeded wild     butterfly
weeds growing from there         brown
and orange obliviousness surrounds. No
bank in sight to save you.              I can’t
guarantee to remember for much longer.

Poem original published in Slippery Elm.

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