Teresita Garcia

Blood Sacrifice

Yellow flowers charge with the sweet
edge of dark skin over white
hands casting shadows in sacred
transmissions to the beat of the thrums
on distant drums.

A nighthawk spans the skies and is melted
down to earth free of feathers and scales;
lungs and gills offered up as sacrifice
with warm blood. Iba Orisa iba la de o,
ase mojuba.

Cold rain crystallizes their breath
as they chant and shriek the incantations
of the loa from an ancient book
of sea folded paper once buried in a twist
of salted foam and wet sand.

The botanica in Washington Heights
holds the bare feet of the faithful
on humid linoleum, while over the city
a purple fog hangs rippled with the breaking
of intermittent sunlight.

Her Name Is Aida

I walk through the clattering garbage pails
where rats have started to converge; the
bus stops at corners where even the moon
is afraid to change shape as to not cause
attention. In a way, I can explain everything
by the remolded faces I see every single
morning down by my street, and I know quite
well what it's like to give up, to not give a damn

There's an old black woman who drinks from
a large red and white milk container on the
stoop of her brownstone apartment. Open
cashmere coat, nightgown and sweat socks
tell me she has run the course of life, trying
to do everything right, before she accepted
inevitable defeat. She is not tempted to say
anything to me whatsoever, nor I to her, but the
way she sits with legs astride beckon me to ask
for her name, just a first name,

anything to identify her with. We go through
the motions, rising and leaving without ever
really connecting with one another. I see the
faces sooner than I hear the voices but they
speak to me just as powerfully, crying out for
a help I cannot offer them. I'm disconnected;
I cut incisions into my bare skin just to feel. The
beads of sweat from my body bubble as I sit in
a steamy bathtub with the lights off while blood
trembles across the mist of porcelain.

The little wrinkles from the water serve as
artificial aging, something good to see, to think
about when muscles soften and all you have
left is what you carry with you inside; all your
loves, all your sorrows, stacked up in your heart,
alone, all alone. I need to have somebody with
me, when fear comes. Someone who will take
away the loneliness, who doesn't mind the hot
baths and the sit-downs under a freezing cold
shower, someone who can be as merciful to

my own romantic Bronx setting as I am. I hold
my arm up across my face, afraid to be seen as
dark red trickles down my armpit, my breasts
heaving under the crimson pool, under the
shallow breaths of insult and injury yet there
is no physical pain that scratches and scrawls
at my soul. Dirt lies deep, and it's not found
on the surface of a shower floor, or in residuals
on a washcloth. Walk cross-town someday and open
your eyes so that they meet that of your neighbors,

bring the old woman on the stoop some warm
percolated coffee for her milk as you drink
and smile between sips together. Show her your
scars from cutting, and your bruises from all the
times you jumped the subway turnstile because
you had to get work and didn't have enough cash
for the fare. Watch as the sun disappears under
the canopy of the squatters building across the way
where tonight is poker and beer night under the stars,
just you, and Aida. Oh yeah, her name is Aida.

Teresita Garcia is the real name of author Theresa C. Newbill. Theresa C. Newbill is the author of The Magick of Vanilla Chai Tea With A Pinch Of Damiana and The Open Diary Of A Witch. Both books are available at Hedge-Witchery ~


You can pre-order the paperbacks through the publisher's website. e-mail Lily Oak though the contact us link/page at the site...


Two Poems