1.14 – Misa

They held me

Arms of strangers meant to keep me still

As her cackles grew in the darkness of that night

Candles burning and the orb glistening

She spat rum onto the shells of a coconut

Talking with the dead

And the shadows between

The earth and that place we all so wish to avoid

She spoke in tongues

Foreign to my ears

But the tone said it all.

As the beads broke

The spirits circled my frail body

Shivering from anticipation

Horse hair kissing the flesh

Painting hues of purple

Rupturing the canvas

For the better

Because they came to close

A vessel for the evil that men do

Do you believe little girl

Do you believe in God, in Chango, in the Madrina that sees the souls

Do you wish to be a child again

Versus the assistant in a seance.

As she held my hand

She spoke of past lives

Murdered on a beach in broad daylight

A towel over your pale face

No one helped

And this is who you were

Corrupt the present with stories


Because beating it out of you

Will cure the sickness.

But I was only a child

Living adult lies

Crying adult tears

Wishing adult wishes

Hoping for the end just so the nightmares would stop

I didn’t want to know your God.

Any God.

Your deity, your reason

To rip away innocence

Burning under baths of scolding water and leaves

Eggs meant to clean the mind

Dead chickens hanging in closets beside dolls stuffed with pins

Pictures wrapped in hair

Symbols meant to control

I didn’t want to know your obsession

I didn’t want to be your obsession

The bridge to the other side

Walking over these bones

With no regard of the stains left behind


Santeria, as with any religious belief, has a good side and a bad one. I was unlucky enough to know the latter. Some events inspire us to move toward something. Some events inspire us to move away. I chose to run, at full speed, in the opposite direction. To be saved and to be safe are not always the same thing. 


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