A NEW BEGINNING
by Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo A New Beginning Of my heart
A missing piece.
It hurt, it hurt,
Oh, how it burned!
How it cut—
How it tore!
But oh that was nothing…When you arrived
I felt it in my body.
I cried, I moaned,
Shouted, screamed.Forgot who I was
And why I was there.
I just wanted the end!
Then: the beginning.
Why I was there.I cried, I spoke softly,
I smiled, closed my eyes,
I felt you on my body.
When you arrived,Oh you were everything…
You put me back together,
Healed my wounds—
Warmed my heart!
A wandering piece
Of my heart.
Ink of My Roots At first, I didn’t want to speak.
Every time you spoke,
I listened, sifted through,
Put the seeds in my heart.I tried to speak,
But you wanted to hear
Yourself alone.The seeds sprouted.
I tried to speak,
But you interrupted to hear
Yourself alone.As the flowers bloomed,
I decided not to speak.I reached into my heart,
Pulled out some flowers,
Dipped the roots
Into the ink of my roots,
Melted the colored petals
Into the colors that melted me:
Stems for strength,
Leaves to gather light,
Pistils and stamens
To multiply the beauty.Again and again,
I gathered the seeds,
And planted and re-planted,
Brushed the roots over white flatness,
Filled with color, a wooden emptiness:
Now another flower, now another song.Now you see,
Now you feel,
What I meant to say.
Flint KnivesThe sun became small and danced in my hand,
But the wind came and put out my fire,
Cutting me like a million little flint.So, from the wind I took a knife
And against it, I slashed mine,
And caught the spark.I saw a new sun
Bloom in my hand
And dance once again.
It is Time I saw you rush past,
By your side, I hurried and
Soon I was tired.
You continued.Your path has no end,
But mine does.But if I can give what I don’t have,
If I can hear what is not said,
And say what is not heard,
If I am able to see clearly
With my eyes closed,
When I reach the end of my path,
I will be ready to be born.
The Moon I wandered alone in the dark.
Only the dim sparkle of the stars
That shone through the clouds
Guided me through the fog.I left the tall trees behind
and had to battle the wind alone.
The cold air grasped my heart
And the wind threw me to my knees.Drops of rain fell from above,
But it was the tears
That flowed from my eyes
That formed a vast lake before me.The lake of tears was a mirror.
The reflections of my life
Rippled across the surface.In that lake I saw the darkness,
I saw stars peering through the clouds.
The clouds drifted away as I watched,
And at last I saw the bright moon.The moon looked into my heart
And called me into the lake.
I could not resist its brightness,
I waded deep into my own tears.When I looked up into the sky,
The moon was not there.
It’s reflection was gone.
I felt myself slip down into the lake.As I drowned, I called out to the moon,
Then realized: it was in my heart,
And I understood why it had appeared,
Why it had called me to the lake.The moon never left me:
It was with me as I drowned.
Then the sun’s blinding light surrounded me:
It had come to take me home.The moon warmed my heart,
But it was the sun that warmed my soul.
I closed my eyes, and smiled as I died. About the Author:Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo is a visual artist, poet, and teacher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her artwork addresses themes of identity, transformation, and empowerment. She has a BFA in Art (Pictorial Art) and a BA in French from San José State University. Her artwork has been included in over fifty exhibitions in galleries and museums across the United States. Elizabeth’s poetry is included in two print anthologies and is included or forthcoming in various print and online anthologies.Publishing AcknowledgementsForthcoming
“Cross a River of Blood” in Harvard University’s PALABRITAS, Spring 2020
“Ultimas Scars” in Azahares Literary Magazine, Spring 2020.
“We Will Continue” and “Crooked line” have been selected to be published in the bilingual anthology, Nos pasamos de la raya/We Crossed the Line, Vol. 2, editors Lori Celaya and R.E. Toledo, (publisher pending.)2017
“Revelations” first appeared in the anthology, Caesura 2017 Ascent/Descent, Poetry Center San José, editor: Bill Cozzini.“We Are the New Colossus” first appeared in the online journal, Label Me Latina/o Spring 2017 Volume VII.2016
“I am Tlazohteotl” first appeared in the online journal, Cheers From the Wasteland, Issue 5: the Resilience Issue.2015
“Footless Dancers” first appeared in English and Spanish in the bilingual anthology, Nos pasamos de la raya/We Crossed the Line, by Abismos Editorial, editors: Lori Celaya and R.E. Toledo.