I touched raw fingers
to the strings.  Felt
how gasping for air
after being hooked, feels.
I’m so long out of water.

Somewhere in the background
Momma is warning,
Do not touch…

pero, it’s so shiny,
so shiny.

The wings thump in
my chest.  The strings prick
and the nopales seem like
clouds.  Harmless.

Agonal.  The hum is deep
like a hummingbird sputters
to a fly.

Where is the music when
my storm comes? Peligro…

Where is my low grade
fever symphony? Moctezuma…

How will I ever know
what I’m made of?  La Huasteca…

When the music kicks up,
everything reminds me of



Spanish translations:  pero = but, nopales = cactus, peligro = danger, Moctezuma = Aztec Emperor, La Huasteca = a region of Mexico


Sarah Frances Moran is a queer chicanx poet living in Texas. She’s navigating the terrain of her ancestors hoping to learn their songs. Her chapbook, Evergreen is coming soon from Weasel Press. She is the founder and editor of Yellow Chair Review and Press.  She may be reached at her website: www.sarahfrancesmoran.com


Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.