Martha Dominadora

In my tenderness I walk down Beverly, in the city of Angels.

Busses exhale on the hot cracked pavement.

Yayas in flowered huipil sit in the shade,
Presiding silently over their tamale queendoms,
Igloo coolers nestled in their old shopping carts.

This could be Mazatenango, but for the ocean breeze.

On the left, four doors down, is Milagro Botanicas. Here already her scents waft out, and the gold crowned madonna leans out and beckons, winking down from the metal door jamb.

Madrino, we are all possessed, a devil in our midst. Por favor ayudenos.

We offer blood and dirt: red onion, red palm oil, red clover herb, red ribbon. Brown paper. Brown sugar. The amulet, the perfume, the naming, the binding.

Holy Martha, you tied up the beast, and you slayed the dragon. Help us now.

May he not sit or sleep or rest or have any peace, until he is kneeling at our feet. Help us for the Love of God.


August 15, Little Guatamala, Los Angeles, USA

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