Lisa “Rubi G.” Ventura

Rustic Fairy Tale
     - after Pablo Neruda

It’s unfathomable to believe one could ever forget
        the greatest love story ever told. The one we etched between the pages
of a storybook. But in the event you so happen to forget, remember me
        as the one who swiftly arrived on a winged pumpkin ride
and instantly changed your life. Wife at first sight.
        If you can’t recall, remember how much I believed us to be children
of stars and full moons. Of how this universe molded me meticulously for you.
        If your mind ever slips, may the poems I’ve penned confirm I wasn’t kidding.
I loved you within the first minute, Big Bang theory, palpitations intense,
        that evening, from then on, I knew what I was missing-
A glass slipper and the love of my life. Prince charming doused in countryside,
        puzzle piece found, agricultural fingers perfectly fit in a city girl’s left palm.
Instantly he showed me who he was. If you ever forget me, let it be
        because you got amnesia and not because flames we ignited dissipated
into the woods at the stroke of midnight. If you ever forget, may the void
        present symptoms of phantom limb pain so you may question
what is gone from your heart.

------------------------------- // -------------------------------

Lisa “Rubi G.” Ventura: Thou shall not tempt the meek (Not Today!) 

Thou shall not tempt the meek (Not Today!) 

when Satan penetrated his way
into my dm’s, he had the audacity
to say spirit just wants to meet the artist
as if muses be summoned genies from a bottle.

unsure if he’d arrived as a test
and baffled by his request my gut was buffering,
wondering if he really meant he’s not
trying to get in my bed
like his guilty-as-charged text said.

divine feminine don’t buy it
sensed the ways in which he tried
to swallow back lust as if his intention
and form of communication didn’t just contradict
itself all within the same conversation.

surely, I thought, boy must be drunk
off some fool's cheap libation to prey
on married women like that, besides
deities don’t work on command.

access instantly denied
to egotistical past lovers with hidden agendas.
intrigued and enticed, he could not
disguise his attempts at coveting
thy neighbor’s prize.

Light dispels darkness
and the mystical be inexplicable
but I ain’t the one
there’s no denying what he was implying--

he be dying to eat
off forbidden trees by salivating
over ripe fruit, ejaculating words like temptation
while reminiscing about how decadent
the seed was.

fallen angel must have been possessed
to believe the purified parts of me
wouldn’t sniff corpses of way back when
left that demon on read…
so, he may bury that carcass from whence it came.

Lucifer, not today!  

------------------------------- // -------------------------------

To Birth is To Bury
     (for the mothers-grieving or otherwise)

Science confirms that the pain of guiding offspring earthside
is tantamount to the pain of fractured bones or kidney stones.
By the grace of our most high, I’ve never experienced a fracture
nor keeled over lodged pebbles in my organs but I did nearly
yank handrails off maternity beds while screaming into oblivion
amidst the transition from expectant to mother.

Discomfort intensifying minute after minute, hour after hour,
and daily thereafter. The ultimate test of emotional and physical strain
only just begins when a negative turns into a positive-pee-stained stick.
And as far as nature goes, the body knows the flow
of how this unpredictable process unfolds.

Debilitating pain and persistent contractions make way for the arrival
of a fertilized egg. Disrupting a system from the inside out
as early as day one. Conceiving that from now on, mother
must bear down and push through. Encountering strength she didn’t
know she had. Begging for miracles that would accelerate the one
already in process. And even then, the pain of birthing a child
could not equate to the pain of burying said child.

As the daughter of a mother who once buried a son,
I’ve witnessed how mother is not the same-
after suicide, after genocide, after any permanent goodbye.
She changed the first/last time she held that baby in her arms.
Enduring the agony of never calling out to him by his birth name.
Mother breathes with a gaping hole in her heart.
As the sister of the one she lost and mother of two sons,
the dread is palpable.

Pleading I never have to suffer like that.
To birth is to bury versions of ourselves
we once knew. To rise renewed
like a phoenix. To birth is to bury
the notion mother will ever be
the same after birthing/burying a child.


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