There was the chef’s hand
he squeezed the cochinita pibil
and shredded it with his hands
all the bones fell to the ground.
Afterwards the smells swirled
around guides leading green-vested
tourists through stalls
past plastic bags of bones and fat
past plucked chickens
with toenails splayed in the air
past iced fish and a little girl twirling.
The bones of my heart
swirled, chile burned my lips
as I watched a seamstress
patch a pirate’s sail to withstand
the north wind under a black
sky and hidden moon.
Susan Ayres holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Sycamore Review, Cimarron Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She teaches in Texas.