Carolina Morales

Two Poems



Carolina Morales is the author of three collections of poetry, Bride of Frankenstein and other poems (2008), In Nancy Drew’s shadow (2010) and Dear Monster (2012) each published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in Coal City Review, Kelsey Review, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Nimrod, Paterson Literary Review, Poet Lore, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, US 1 Worksheets and other journals and anthologies. Three of Carolina’s poems have been nominated for Pushcart prizes. She is a past recipient of a scholarship from the summer program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and in 2011, Carolina’s short play, The Last December, was produced by Fire Rose Productions in North Hollywood, California. In 2014, an excerpt of her full-length play, Ladies Man, was given a staged reading as part of the New Voices program at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

South of San Diego, 5 miles north of the border,

     out-of-the-way, beachfront hotel, reunited with

                         my sons, all four of us together, the three of them


in search of adventure, head out toward la frontera,

     vanish with the sun.  Evening comes as if the earth

                                   quaked, coughed with dirt lungs, spread


cracked lips, stuck out a stony tongue to slake them in.

     Far from home, all I’ve known, the sea

                          is a cauldron spuming an icy foam, palm trees,


like black brooms, stir the sky.  The sand’s gritty

     hands pull my footsteps down.  Back in the room, alone, 

                                   the bed is a raft splintered by night’s storm. 


Dawn’s oars of light row through closed blinds to drag

     me under.  At morning’s end, all three reappeared, bedraggled,

                         drained, shipwrecked sailors crawled to shore again


who refused to explain where they’d gone, from where

     they’d come.  As they stumbled to bed, I overheard

                                        when the youngest said, it had been the worst


night of his life.  To this day, I do not know the name of the thing

                         that swallowed them whole, my body anchored

                                                       in the tide that spit them back alive.



We hid behind a bush, waited for her to pass,

the old woman who strolled the block


to let the sun’s last rays dry her hair,

white mane hung to her waist, thick veined


and wrinkled fingers combing through wild

strands, thin arms poked from the bagging holes


of a sleeveless housedress, skinned shins

poled into dusty slippers.  Bruja!  We shouted. 


Old lady witch!  Then croaking with laughter,

turned to run so fast, we barely saw her evil eye


squint against us, could not hear the curse hissed

through her lips.  Now, I turn


to the bedroom mirror, comb through graying hairs,

check the crow’s feet clawed from each eye, blot


cream along lines engraved in my forehead, tweeze

stray hairs stubbling my chin, check


my appointment with the dentist to yank

a rotten tooth, make a note for the dermatologist to burn


the warts that plague my finger, another with

the bone man for the curve that bends my spine.