Adriana M. Martínez Figueroa

dengue

i am born
in tepid waters
made of rains
long past.
i have found
that swimming
i develop best.
my thorax
underneath me
as i shed
myself.
i skate across
the surface
and i wonder
if jesus learned
from his
ancestors
that you had
to crawl
before being
able to walk
across water.
did he know
many have tried
to imitate
what i’ve done
many lives over.
did jesus shed
his own skin
in the desert
or did he shed
upon the sea
when his friends
didn’t believe.
when did he
realize his
power.
i wonder
as i shed
this body
for a new one.
i’ve turned
blood into wine
but never
wine into blood.
i haven’t
seen a cross
but i have
been struck
by lightning
and survived.
i’ve known the
pain of humanity
for i have
caused it aplenty.
i suffer under
the weight of
my own
greatness
as i have
foretold
my death
as well.
but tell me.
jesus.
did you have
wings.

Adriana M. Martínez Figueroa (she/her/hers) was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico but raised in Vega Baja, just five minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean. She went to school in Iowa State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Women and Gender Studies and a minor in U.S. Latinx Studies. Her work will appear in “Boricua en La Luna: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Voices.” In her free time, you can find her with her family and three cats, reading, and crafting stories. Talk to her about books, movies, TV, and D&D on Twitter/Instagram @boricuareads.