Pippa Little – Ofrenda

photo credit: Giulian Frisoni

 

Pippa Little
Ofrenda

My altar is hungry for candles, my man’s sweat for salt,
wild honey, mezcal, fresh packs of cigarettes.
I bring marigolds from the street stall
not for grief but for their hot spite.

Now I wait, open the window wide,
summon desire. Moonless,
it runs on its nerves, bloody
as Santa Muerta’s breath.

Lover, swallow up my life, I don’t want
to wake in the dawn chill to find you gone.
Let’s dance as the old ones do in the square,
slowly, making do with forgiveness:

when morning comes I’ll lick the sugar crusts soft
like a street dog, throw your souring
Manzanilla down my throat, I who am stuck here
in a widow’s body, you who are on long vacation
from your life: this ofrenda is our bed,
kiss me as I inhale you and our musk melts
into a residue I could live on for ever.