Tatiana Forero Puerta

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Tatiana Forero Puerta is from Bogotá, Colombia. Her poetry has appeared in Hawai'i Pacific ReviewMoon City Review AnthologyJuked, and elsewhere. Tatiana has been nominated for Best of the Net AnthologyBest New Poets, and was a recipient of the 2017 Pushcart Prize. She holds a dual BA in philosophy and comparative religion from Stanford University and an interdisciplinary MA from New York University. Tatiana lives and teaches in NY. 

Website: www.tatianawriting.com

Object Permanence 

My newborn son thinks that when I step out of the room
I cease to exist. I wonder where he imagines I go,
maybe he thinks that I simply disintegrate
leaving particles of body in the ether
as ashes might linger after a house fire.

When I return, he seems surprised
that I have reincarnated so perfectly
without a trace of burning.

One day, he will come to understand
that I never dispersed into thin air,
that I remained constant, like my love for him.

When he’s older I’ll tell him
about when my parents dispersed
into nothingness, and how I haven’t
seen them since. I’ll tell him that it doesn’t seem
like they’ll return in one piece.

He might remind me that permanence is relative,
and teach me that things can go away and endure all at once.


Pet Names

We’ve had a great parade of pet names
that all end in ita—our mother
tongue’s gesture for tiny things like us. 

You’ve always been the princess-ita,
poised on the kitchen table, like the sun
at noon, rattling coins in your hands. 

You had the uncanny ability to demand
the unreasonable—even at five,
I never questioned your authority. 

I was lamb-ita--my glistening eyes perpetually
awaiting slaughter. Everything made me cry.
My heart was unbuttoned, my bone marrow entirely raw. 

Your first word was nenita and is what I call you now.
Since then, we’ve been naming each other’s
aberrations with the most tender precision.  

Sister, the final names we give each other
will be boundless; there will be
nothing tiny about them.

©The Acentos Review 2017