Fé Incantation for Ciudad Santa
By Emily Pepin
Manzano Jemez Sangre de Cristo Sandia
blanket of stars, bowl of blue sky
wind whisper— infinity—
every monsoon afternoon.
I love you mi jito mi amor holy city,
Compact body of adobe, brown earth your skin.
La Llorona weeping your riverbed flesh,
All dried up. Children
smoke weed in broken-bottle arroyos
the gloomy Old man burns away
Your demise, his flame can’t catch
Upper Canyon farolitos as they
Bridge the gap
between your second-home rich
and your la raza poor.
Que bonita mi jita I love you mi amor
Aspen bark of your being, quake in bright light
Marbled blue of your shadows,
inky streak of your clouds. Dirt roads turn to
asphalt slick with tequila, green leaves fall yellow
as you shout que viva, bells ringing for mass.
On the portal, the Spirit is selling
Cool opals and Pies
eaten from bags. Atop the
cross of the martyred, you stand in the future,
Reach to the Past with
Curved fingers of winding streets,
breath of baking dust, kiss
of champagne sunset.
My beauty, my lovely, Hatch green on tongues
You the forever, the ancient, the deep-burning Sage.
Turquoise corazón, thick roots
From which we
Beat and bleed and grow and reach—
Sweet city, our city, holy city, our faith.
Emily Pepin’s family moved to Santa Fe with a U-Haul and two poodles when she was 9, at which point she screamed at a stinkbug and fell in love with the mountains. Since then, she has been published by Más New Mexico, the Santa Fe Reporter (where she was an intern in 2008), plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing 2009, The Redlands Review, and the Census anthology. She graduated from the University of Redlands in 2009 with a degree in English and human ecology. Emily leaves for West Africa in March 2011 as a Peace Corps volunteer. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.