Bio Note: I live in New York City, where I have owned a daycare business for the past fourteen years. I have three children ages 11, 17 and 18, and enjoy yoga, nature walks, live music and learning Yiddish. My work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and has appeared in numerous publications including Spillway 29, Redivider, and One Art.
On a Winter Midnight I Taste the Sweetness in Xocolatl (Bitter Water)
On my stove a pot of Mexican hot chocolate simmers, cinnamon & vanilla milk accented with cacao, cayenne & chili. A mocha film sears the sides like a waterlogged map, or what remains of mud that’s been splattered on walls after heavy rains. The spicy drink coats my throat, warms my insides like a fired bowl, feet dancing over coals. I’m as alive as Ezhuahuacatl, the Aztec prince, or the red rock of my skin that scorches the photographer’s lens. With every sip, I strive to be stamped by pain & pleasure together, like scrap metal, wedge-shaped, impressed by official markings, hammered on an anvil with the weight of a lion’s head or leader’s crown. I’m not a harpy that feeds on others as punishment. I prefer that others feed on me, transform me into a wind that carries itself into oblivion while my face remains soft & feminine, lips rouged & kerosened. I seek pleasure through taste, my tongue a swirling serpent that does not hiss or protest. Outside, the waters have subsided, streets silent & slick. I'm wetter than the hours & the walls I’ve climbed to sip wine, a barometer for weather, whether or not I am partnered or robed. I flow the same way that I smooth out folded clothes or brush the powdered burn on my lips. Like a poem, the liquid returns to feed me again & again, long after the mixture has cooled.
©2023 Susan Michele Coronel
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