The body is the dialectic. It is pains of a woman
Young and brown who pushed you to life in a
Taxi in Celaya. Born both with a milk snake
round our throats, but mother, yours
was that voice that scorched the doctor’s ears.

Mariana, Mariana, Mariana.
The name you gave a way.

Mariana, the milk snake slithers between borderlands.
In the desert she waits for night
To slip between the desert gates, to drink
Horchata from the cows.

Far from the Parroquia, the milk snake dances on my snow-chilled hands.
I walk through grey-white slush with friends
Who ask to see my palms, but Mariana, they don’t know that what I hold
May die in the snow. Here, winter’s purpose it to calm, but I imagine
Us running through the desert rain in San Miguel. In therapy I count
her things in threes, look outside, and say: imagine a milk snake in this blizzard.

Our ancestors spilled on her office floor.

Mary Luna Robeldo headshot



Mary Luna Robledo(they/them) is a non-binary Mexican immigrant. They recently graduated from Smith College. Their poetry has been published by 805 Lit + Art and is forthcoming in The Bangalore Review.