dominican superstitions :: elizabeth acevedo

For sleeping: Don’t fall asleep with your knees up
or you’ll invite a ghost to mount you.

For ghosts: Never ask them what they want. That’s
some American shit.

For ghosts that won’t leave: Use frankincense.
Conduct a rosary circle. Lead them to a tree that guards gold.

For nightmares: Upon waking speak your dreams into the air—
the witnessing daylight will prevent them from coming true.

For nightmares in which teeth shatter like crashing dinner plates:
Someone you love has died. The teeth always know.

For menstrual periods: Don’t touch any child not your own
and don’t wash your hair until you’ve bled for five days.

For the evil eye: Cross yourself and stay away from folks
who would give a compliment but not follow it with a blessing.

For reading or eating: Don’t do both at the same time.

For kitchens: Open an oven or open a refrigerator but heat and cold air
should never mix in the same body.

For men: Feed them well and feed them often, the fatter the man
the more likely he’s too heavy to leave.

For cheating: Watch out if you skip a hoop while fastening your belt—
one time too many means someone else has been minding your man.

For superstitions: Treat them all like salt, scatter them before you leave
let them cling to the soles of your feet.

december 1 :: czeslaw milosz

The vineyard country, russet, reddish, carmine-brown in this season.
A blue outline of hills above a fertile valley.
It’s warm as long as the sun does not set, in the shade cold returns.
A strong sauna and then swimming in a pool surrounded by trees.
Dark redwoods, transparent pale-leaved birches.
In their delicate network, a sliver of the moon.
I describe this for I have learned to doubt philosophy
And the visible world is all that remains.

I loved you first: but afterwards your love :: christina rossetti

Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda. – Dante

Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore. – Petrarca

I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.