The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Natalia Treviño’s “Lavando La Dirty Laundry”

Natalia Trevino

From Natalia Treviño’s book “Lavando La Dirty Laundry”

Ulysses Thinks to Explain It

The woman-thing tore back from me:
her anemone touch left our pools of wet to stick

under my leg. Crying, she said, her eyes,
wide with the sight. Your wife is crying, always, Ulysses.

She turned me away, film of her cloak, ballooned.
Even before the first battle, there’d already been rivers—

You know that, Wife. Every day, tears, streaming over your face—
afraid I would leave you, breath-failed, wide-browed.

Your stomach large from the baby. Could have been a double
headed witch who told you things, lies about me, a sorceress

splitting your mind. It was the ocean I could taste,
Woman; wanting no salt from tears in my breath.

Kill and know it was my hand sending in the sword.
With you, silence murdered with no blood.

No echo—I could still love you, Wife. I could soak your dresses,
spin you a fleet, though you work on your strings,

your hands covered in lines, threads crossing one another,
weaving eyes into animals and the goddesses. Save you, you say.

You always weave eyes so big on their faces,
unattractive in women.

This selection comes from Natalia Trevino’s book Lavando La Dirty Laundry, available from Mongrel Empire Press! Find more details about the book here!

Born in Mexico City and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Natalia Treviño was raised in Spanish by her parents while Bert and Ernie gave her English lessons on the side. Natalia is an Associate Professor of English at Northwest Vista College and a member of the Macondo Foundation, a writer’s workshop aimed at encouraging non-violent social change.  She graduated from UTSA’s graduate English and The University of Nebraska’s MFA in Creative Writing programs. Her poetry has won the Alfredo Moral de Cisneros Award for Emerging Writers from Sandra Cisneros, the Wendy Barker Creative Writing Award, the 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and the San Antonio Artists Foundation Literary Award. Natalia’s fiction has appeared in Curbstone Press’s Mirrors Beneath the Earth and The Platte Valley Review. Nonfiction essays are included in the Wising Up Anthologies, Shifting Balance Sheets: Women’s Stories of Naturalized Citizens and Complex Allegiances: Constellations of Immigration. She is currently finishing her novel, La Cruzada. Often working the community programs to increase young adult literacy, she has taught classes at women’s and children’s shelters as well as teen detention centers. Having experienced a bi-national and bicultural life, she hopes to raise understanding between people divided by arbitrary borders. She lives with her husband, Stewart and son, Stuart just outside of San Antonio, Texas.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

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