The Things I Have by Mina Polen

I have a garden of black ferns at the bottom of the deep ocean. New fronds uncurl slowly in darkness, caressing the sea. I can take you there.

I am growing a forest with your tears, your fears, your hopes, your loves. We have a nurturing ever-flowing stream, a forest in full bloom.

I have some abandoned hopes hiding inside the rain. I can only see them when it rains. They get alive, watered, then washed away again.

In the scar between two oceans I have your grief, a couple of beautiful earrings and all the tears you´ve lost. Come, I have some lemonade too.

Inside the night´s darkest hours I have forty elephants that talk with the fire, twenty tsunamis that whisper to the wind, a hundred clouds that can melt your guts and three volcanoes as a snack.

I have a flame that is my shadow. She follows me anywhere, she licks me and burns me. Sometimes she is a caress or a burning sensation. Inside.

I have a place inside myself where ice is perpetual; where silence, whispers and the moonlight are sharp as daggers.

I have inside the curve of a wave the shells´ voices, their whispers and secrets. The only place in the ocean that is deaf to its own voice.

I have a handful of wave dust in my hand. I am saving it for you. I will spread it over that cliff in the middle of the sand dune desert.

I have the fire of your eyes on my fingertips. I am lingering over the earth, igniting everything I touch. I will get to the ocean tonight.

I have a railway in the middle of the sea. Sea urchins roll along it, spelling in every twist -and in real time- the sea´s new words.


This prose poem is the third by Mexican poet Mina Polen that has appeared on this site in recent weeks. It was originally posted in 12 tweets through Mina’s Twitter account, @minafiction. I love the mixture of hallucinatory, surrealist beauty and disarming whimsy in Mina’s poetry. Hers is a bold, full-blooded voice; a bracing antidote to the too-knowing, cautious, anaemic poetry that currently dominates.


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