María Hernández


Dr. María Hernández (She/They) is an emerging poet with poems published in many subcultural literary presses. Dr. Hernández was raised in south Florida with her family, who migrated to the U.S. from El Salvador in the 1980s. María now lives in the Blue Ridge mountain region of North Carolina, where she works as a community organizer and educator. Before leaving Florida, she graduated in 2009 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in English. In 2013, she acquired her Creative Writing M.F.A from Spalding University’s School of Writing before earning her Educational Leadership doctorate from Appalachian State University in 2022. María's lived, academic, and professional experiences have trained her in the power of narratives to heal and transform. 

Marsinski Missionary

The waves are swelling. The raging impulse,
a Taurus rising moon works
perpetually unseen behind
a blinding sun— dehydrating white, red,
and toasted skin along a dew-soaked beach
out of turtle season. I am 

lingering sargassum drying, clinging
to the poison of tantalizing
manowar. My body presses yours. 

wanting to delve in deeper
waters to feel the pull of my ebb 

against your flow, but we are in the half-
wet sand—getting blasted with cold, humid
air. Making awkward love beside 

discarded cigarette butts. The scene is
less than perfect, and the world less so. I
would wish for simpler times, but for Womxn 

like us, there have never been. We create
the simplicity that isn’t. My mind
drifts in and out of view like gulls gliding 

parallel to shore, scanning for
microbial and crustacious life. I
am an empty shell that passersby gaze 

upon—wondering if I am worth the
walk to collect me, to cleanse me, to hold
me, to make space on their alters each night 

I drown in this ocean we lie before.
You aren’t here. You don’t need me to heal,
but part of you wants me to. I don’t want 

you to heal me, but part of me fears
I need you. Shut my eyes. Open my lips.
I want to feel the undercurrents’ pull
from this mental prison 

I once knew
where to dive, how to hold my breath
                          Emerge. Stand. 

I can relearn.

© The Acentos Review 2022