by Lisa Mase

Some, in their hula hoop circus gear
and spandex pirate stripes,
bump to late-night techno spinning
at Rouge Cat’s Euro trash lounge
or grind to electronica
at the Underground.

Others, in junky turquoise
and pointy studded boots,
dine on lamb and fig at La Boca
or watch flamenco at El Farol,
sipping hundred dollar bottles
of Garnacha.

La Virgen de Guadalupe
is everywhere,
protecting those who roam
the New Mexico night, three or four
piled in the cab of a beater truck
or one at the wheel of a shiny Jaguar.
She prays they will not collide
on their ways home.

Whose sanctuary is this? Who
can call it sacred? I only do because
it named me its beautiful child
then wore me down to the fine sand
that makes my bones.

I want to move with the darkness,
forget that this place is sacred,
let it scar me with whiskey and tattoos.
Instead I slip into bed, dream the day
I can pray to La Virgen again.


Lisa Mase has been writing poetry since childhood. She teaches poetry workshops for Vermont’s Poem City events, co-facilitates a writing group, and has translated the poetry of writers from Italy, France, and the Dominican Republic. Her poems have been published by Open Journal of Arts and Letters, Wander Lost, the Long Island Review, 3 Elements, Zingara Review, and Silver Needle Press among others.