Maria Alejandra Barrios


Maria Alejandra Barrios is a writer born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She has lived in Bogotá and Manchester where in 2016 she completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing from The University of Manchester. Her story 'Luna' was shortlisted in 2017's Bare Fiction competition in London. She was selected for the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Performing & Literary Arts for the city of New York in 2018. Her fiction is forthcoming in Reservoir Journal and has been published in Hobart Pulp. Her work has been supported by organizations like Vermont Studio Center and Caldera Arts Center. She's currently working on her first short story collection.

La botánica 

To the girl they said would never get married,
a rose,
a talisman, a spoon of honey and cinnamon,      
a prayer to the abuela who was always waiting,        
a postal from a lost lover                                                        
                                     a good luck charm from across the world. 

To the girl who they said was ugly
A bouquet of red roses    a baño scented with lavender
another rose
an incantation
atrapasueños to catch bad spirits 
and a bendición from the mas allá
                                       from the abuela who the girl thought might never forgive her.


To the chismosas,
maybe a new start,
mil atrapasueños to catch their bad spirits,
mil opportunities to release them,
three roses and if they need it, another new start
away from the girl they said 
                                           would never find one.


                                                                             To the malintencionadas, a list:
More new starts,
A white spell,
A new love,
A prayer,
yellow underwear for la buena suerte.                                                      

To our girl, 
                   the unseen light,
                   a letter from heaven de la abuela,
                                                                               a promise that the dead are always listening.
                   a white spell,
                   la luz 
                   the magic of those who dream for all of us
                   and the light of those who get loved more than once.                        

© The Acentos Review 2018