I salsa coca leaves between my molars until my throat forgets
how to trust. I keep reminders unwrapped enough to fill a space
with smell: most tunnel-web-weaving spiders are venomous.
Hollows in the rocks flash flood underfoot after heavy rain but
either keep their secrets or have nothing to tell. Not like down
the mountain where the people’s daughters are cuy and eat
cuy: all chewed up and spit out before someone notices. An extra
four years cling to my skin like a cheap poncho that only welcomes
rain. I avoid eye contact with the orchids, their irises cat-yellow.
The only solace for the chewed up flash flood girls is the market
with its indistinction between broad Inca corn and teeth gargled
in the gums. There, people take notice. They purge the streets of
monsters and stock them again with shit and confetti and other
familiarities. The monsters they release into the mountains,
and the rocks sing the rhythm: chew, swallow, rinse, repeat.