“Caracas”, “The Milky Way as Path to the Otherworld” and “Mirrorland”


Teach me how to hold a carcass

in my mouth

like a wet mango

& mija

before you go

enshrine something of the dead

between the floorboards

of your old, forgotten house

where your mother, pregnant

with your youngest brother

fed you too many avocados

as if she knew

that the distance could kill a man

like only hunger can

because the sea

is wiser than memory

and the moon is darker than fear

but a new sun will force you

to un-own

what was

left behind

in stone Spanish cities

or trampled beneath soft waves

come to rest

in Boston harbor sides.

The Milky Way as Path to the Otherworld

Black sky takes no prisoners

so here I am,

sitting bolt upright at midnight

anxiety and sparks behind the eyes


at wanting more

than can comfortably fit in a mouth

at any given time

a life of too many sugar syrups

meat caught in a blender, coughing up

nothing but dust --

high pitched notes

shattering in round, operatic soprano holes

until the day the big hands change

my stars

cats running wild, feral dogs

alive in their throats


semen bursting in corybantic circles

on a mattress,

I dam the rivers with my teeth.


I am angry that I cannot suffer

like I used to

cannot shove prayers

into the wailing wall

of my own body

like I used to

pockets of guilt

and shame

buried where joints break


that once stored

radioactive lust

and fear, rotting at the half-life

not quite disappeared

purified in fragments

where the wilderness is hostile

to border towns

the law

is not just the law, but a lesson

and the lesson

is the edge of chaos.

About the Author

Mari Pack

Mari Pack is a poet, essayist, copywriter, and radio producer from the outskirts of Washington, D.C. She earned an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 2013, and promptly abandoned the ivory tower to work for a social justice nonprofit in Israel. Now the editor of Wavelength, her work has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Establishment, among others.