November 12, 2007
Out-of-Town Poetry: Diana García
What the Curandera Knows
With a candle and a canning jar
she draws the fever from measles
and the evil eye. No rings, no lipstick,
no smile, she flames the bottom of the jar
until smoke whorls inside.
The hairs below her long black sleeves
are singed. She whips the mouth
against my chest so the skin beneath
deadens, blisters. Behind my eyes
I see the candle in her hand,
myself before it, how I go
on, off, on, off
like the rounded red eye
above the confessional,
a light that marked the sins
I didn’t tell the priest,
the way a lover touched my breasts,
the fold behind my knees,
or somewhere deeper.
The curandera interrupts me with
?Y qué querías saber?
What do I want to know?
What do I ask?
I eat, dance, love, yet cry,
?Pero qué mas hay?—
What more is there?
—Diana García, 2000