Migrating Birds

Victor gets a real sense of power
from making his own raisins. He buys
pounds and pounds of grapes
and leaves them to dry
on the kitchen table.

Theresa doesn’t want to hear about
her ex-husband’s cancer. Not on Father’s Day.
She takes a train all night
to have breakfast with her cousin.
All Sunday she rides the train back.

Once Martin’s wife had left,
he decided to take advantage of her space.
He built a sauna where her closet was,
and now sits there every morning
to read the paper and Buddha.

One night Helga wore her prettiest dress,
thought she knew he wouldn’t be there.
She drank white wine, got drunk
(she was on a diet), and fell down.
Later he saw the holes in her pantyhose.

María was usually bumping into
furniture. Each time she got closer to what
she wanted. “What do you want from me?”
“Nothing,” he replied, so she took off
and felt like migrating birds. But many.

Mónica de la Torre, “Migrating Birds” from Talk Shows. Copyright © 2006 by Mónica de la Torre. Reprinted by permission of Switchback Books.
Source: Talk Shows (Switchback Books, 2006)
More Poems by Mónica de la Torre