paulA neves



paulA neves is a native of Newark, NJ whose poetry, essays, book reviews, etc. have appeared in numerous publications, including Fiolet and WingCleaver MagazineThe Abuela Stories ProjectQueen Mob’s TeahouseWriters of the Portuguese Diaspora, and elsewhere. She is currently a teaching artist-in-residence for the Glass Book Project (  and her artwork is featured in several of its collections. A Canto Mundo fellow, she has also received scholarships/residencies from the Sundress Academy for the Arts, the Luso-American Development Foundation, and the Disquiet Literary Program. She is a member of the Kale Soup for the Soul collective (, which has presented panels, readings and workshops nationwide. She is a graduate of the MFA program in writing at Rutgers-Newark and teaches for various university programs. For more info visit or @Itinerantmuse .

Offerings Ofensas

               — after an ad in the Lisbon Metro recalling PIDE’s victims

for more than a braid of a daughter’s hair
or a son’s milk teeth wrapped in chita
the priest-professor told you to believe 

so you believed
in economies of ofertas
you believed in Fátima and fadistas 

who sang of sailors and their strong sea
legs, taking them anywhere but Tarrafal
far from your honeyed wax heart 

far from the woman like your mother
who carried your perfeito coração
hoping the gulls would eat from her hand 

hoping just one would have come
instead of PIDE to ask
what she had to offer 

if she believed in her own ofensas
perdoai as nossas…ai Senhor
if she believed her feet were anchors 

or there but for the grace of God
pillars of a house
where they’d set old smoke on fire 

again and again insisting
with eyes the brass of chalices
that she shouldn’t have

© The Acentos Review 2017