Mexico, balanced on the backbone of miracles, survives anyway.
The mundane, steeped in magia and milagros, happens
a mile a minute, flourishes side by side with the maguey.
To live in such a place and not believe? Imposible!
Remember, roses grew on Tepayac Hill where nothing took root.
A carving of the virgin sheds real tears. They taste like blood.
And Rio Nautla water runs uphill after the rains arrive.
On Día de los Muertos the dead dance among tombstones,
eat mole Oaxaqueño. If you bury the afterbirth close to home,
your daughters will not stray. Hang sage in the threshold
to keep the evil out. A potion of cinnamon, egg white and laurel
cures heartbreak, heartburn too. Keep a lock of lover’s hair
tied in red ribbon beneath your bed. It will keep him honest.
Plant at midnight beneath the crescent moon. Your crop will flourish.
This is the place I come from. Here magia is worth a handstand
and a song. Minor miracles come cheap: A curandera will reverse
your luck for fifty pesos and an egg. An egg in her hand absorbs
the mala vibra. Crack it open. The yolk is curdled, the white goes black.
Do I believe? I do not know, but just in case, por si las moscas,
I wear milagro charms around my neck to keep the evil eye at bay:
a coin for wealth, a heart for health, a leg to keep me grounded.