ISSUE 6: WINTER 2017 / POETRY

“BOYS ARE LIKE HOUSES IN A BIRACIAL, TRANSCONTINENTAL STATE” by María Cristina Hall

Two stuffed bags. A closet arranged from purple to black, customary in Columbia dorms. Chucked an exam hangover into six human-sized boxes, followed by five-dollar margaritas spewing me blue on a viscid wood floor: six legs, three tongues, multiple smartphones testifying. Then an apartment furnished to eat at the liver, pinching it tight like money. Street finds to compensate: scrubbed record shelves, an impressionist yard framed in gold. My roommate’s thick glasses, eraser dust, notes almost rebooking the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Seven choking perfume spritzes, for luck.

Two hovering years. Adrià mutated from vellum to liberty, swan song eight times through the Caribbean. Multiplied his specter into nine human-shaped deposits, followed by muscles ticking me blue on my phone: indigent, deaf-eared, pinched in a heartbeat of lubricated ego. Then hypochondria spews herpes from whitescreen to skin, harking me back to his question. Street finds to compensate: a Texan jock, a cult child, Adonis stealing his pinesmell. Erased to a new stability, a gust of wait, the future scudding out on overstretched tentacles. Left a sludge slipway, for luck.

Two potioned poems. Concocted relationships cursing my drive from genesis to mud, buried nine ribs down from atonement. My brain vacuumed into human-sizing mirrors, followed by tweezers clipping me red on a cortisone lake: YouTube yoga, insomniac, a sallow bed of cesspooled escapism. Then twenty-seven strands of rejection letters, pinning a desiccated moth to a millennial sense of purpose. Metaphysical steals to compensate: a poem Mónica de la Torre wrote in my dream, God’s voice channeled through a grimy garrafón, a therapist. Churned by a threat cue choked in shoelace, a propulsion cradled in tissue flesh, clouds spelling tedium to amaranth. Oiled ten hands in violet, for luck.


María Cristina Hall is a Mexican-American poet with a a bachelor’s in creative writing and political science from Columbia University and a master’s in translation studies from Pompeu Fabra University. A Catalan and Spanish translator, she writes poetry and is currently a professor of English at the Tec de Monterrey in Mexico City. Some of her work can be found in Apogee Journal, New Poetry, Leveler, The Fem, and Registro MX.


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