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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Alison C. Rollins - original [sin]

       In ancient Greece, for all her heroes, for Medea    ...    water meant death.
       — Jesmyn Ward, 
Salvage the Bones


i poured a bowl of cereal,

threw the empty box in the

trash can. granddaddy pulled


the box from the trash,

poured the crumbs into a

bowl, then doused the sand


in milk. he looked down at the

bowl, murmuring about how

he had survived the depression. told


a story about asking for hot water

at colored diners, how he would

pour ketchup in cups to make soup.


this was how

i first learned i am







i would stand in the bathroom

with my mother. would ask her

why the water in the bowl was


red. she would tell me she

had eaten beets. i suppose

i was too young to learn


the truth, milkflowers

spill petals red.






in my catholic school of fish,

we took a beautifully wrapped box,

passed it around the class,


unwrapping it piece by piece.

afterwards it was cleverly

explained that the box is


a girl’s virginity


the gift we give our husbands.


& who wants a toy that has

already been opened? half

the joy is in untying the string.


this is how i was taught

that at my very core, i am






i met someone recently,

in an irish bar, who told me

it’s about knowing what i need.


he said later

what you need

is a wife.


that night i prayed to god for just a man

and not a man that trails the woe


& maybe this is why god serves me

wakes of milkman and tea cake


a lip service of sorts

at hand.





maybe this is how i end up

throwing good things away:





a little tiny baby



locked them all in flooding

house with tearful grin.


this is how you

come to know you are






at times i smell of rain,

blouse damp with the

cloud’s breast milk,


this stomach a

sloshing bowl of

watery swish.


i curse the phantom belly

moon, can still hear the

sound of  you in still water.


                            the wind begins to push

a heavy rain, drops spill from

every crevice of the flower.


& then suddenly,

the rain begins to pour.


it always all ways

asks for forgiveness.


a ghost kneels in me,

              asks to be spared.

Alison C. Rollins - Object Permanence

For the time being

an ampersand is a boy

clutching his knees

to his chest as art.


On high, the god of form

wears a face on each wrist.

Only a god can take and give

time, but the one in front of

the gun lasts forever.


The boy is parenthesis,

his shoulders curved,

the huddled wings of a bird.


The boy’s arms are too short

to box with god. He breaks down-

beats of sweat in his sleep.


If life is music, the rest is noise,

this earth a museum of dead boys

walking. The god has a finger to

his lips. He wakes to the boy


taking selfies with The Scream.

The boy knows a picture

will only last longer.


Frequent warnings read

Storage Almost Full across his

screen so self-portraits he

outsources to the cloud.


As I Lay Dying sits in his book

bag. The page dog-eared that has

the line: My mother is a fish.




Right now

the comma

is a lobe.


From afar the god clutches

his head, in an effort

to cover missing ears.


The redbone boy was airborne.

As we speak, he bleeds in the street.

The backpack has landed as parachute.


The god yowls watercolors,

the way the sky weeps

oranges in lung-shaped

segments of grief:

quarter, half, a whole.


A bullet is a form of punctuation.

From a distance it appears

the boy is fucking up commas.

Roger that.


The god of variables — a-

bridged & for-

lorn, dribbles mercy

on the mother of

the slain.


The boy’s headphones skip

down the sidewalk in the hands

of another mother’s child.


The skeletal god’s got bars.

A rib cage full of tally marks

collection plates in memory

of chicken-scratched bones.


The writing on god’s wall

was formerly known as art.




The boy’s chest has become

a focal point. It rests in

his mother’s arms, a still life painting.

The god is MIA.


The boy’s mother repeats her prayers

again, & again, & again, & again, & again.


Repetition leads to the longing for a god,

for a sound as signal, for the absence of a note

or limb. Think of the bo(d)y as con artist.


The boy’s mother knows a period is

something missed. She knows objects

can disappear behind a god’s back

but that doesn’t mean they are gone forever.


She holds the boy’s cracked

phone in her hands, as if it were

the whole world.


A boy is what he leaves behind.

What a mother struggles to forget

her muscles store as memory.

Alison C. Rollins - Water Lilies

I am thirty,
wading out into a deep
body of water.

My favorite form of
loss is to swallow.
What have I to lose

this time around? Last July
my legs were draped on either
side of my husband’s head.

My thighs hung like a scarf
about his neck, his hair
burrowed into my privates.

I’d always longed
to see a dolphin’s vagina.
As a child, I wanted to be a marine

biologist. At Sea World, I rode
on my father’s shoulders
held on to his ears for dear life.

I—upswept in his current,
his arms filled with his own blood.
Now they are gone, both the father

and the husband in this story,
their closets emptied save for
tins of shoe polish and handfuls

of naked wire hangers. I am Medea.
Euripides takes up my voice
like a pebble for safekeeping,

beads of water run off my face
like grief. Afloat, I rehearse
how to mourn like a stone.

My breasts skip atop the surface,
aqueducts of milk rooted
beneath the skin. The river

holds me in its mouth
like a song. I in turn
leave it, troubled.


Water Lilies” has never been published and by no means does it feel “completed” to me. It is a poem that I have set aside to potentially revisit or use as a graveyard to extract lines from for another future work. At this point, “Water Lilies” is just as unfinished, in-process, and chaotic as my daily attempt to stay alive.