Mari-Carmen Marin





Consumed by Pain


These past days I have been thinking of death. The image

of the skull and crossbones has settled on my forehead

between my furrowed eyebrows, a window I don’t want

to open. Yet I stand before the tree of life, its thick and

thorny veins injecting energy through its dark green leaves.


I wonder how much longer I can endure this pain that ties

me to my bed with iron-made chains like the iron handrail

that impaled me through my pelvis on that bus ride years

ago. I wonder how much longer I can endure a life without

living, a life in this barren body of mine.


Perhaps death is the answer. Perhaps death will set me free.




Pensando en la Muerte (Thinking about Death), by Frida Kahlo, 1943.

My Mirror


A storm is blows up inside you.  Gusty

winds roar through your ears, while

monsoon rains flood in between your

bones and boiling blood, after lightning

bolts have struck your heart. Staying still,

you are paralyzed by the shock.


Sitting next to you on a bench in the park, I hold

your hands. Now, your winds, your rains,

your lightning strikes are also mine. From

your chest through my chest, then out,

a grey cloud departs our bodies, flies up

towards sullen skies, escorted by two tall

evergreens that ground us among the chaos.


Don’t’ you still know? Through your eyes, I see

my world; through your nose, you breathe my air.

through my mouth, I speak your words. Murky

waters can rise and scare us, but you’ll never drown

as long as I am with you riding out your storms.



Mari-Carmen Marin was born in Málaga, Spain, but moved to Houston, TX, in 2003, where she has found her second home. She is a professor of English at Lone Star College—Tomball, and enjoys dancing, drawing, reading, and writing poetry in her spare time. Writing poetry is her comfy chair in front of a fireplace on a stormy winter day.


Her work has appeared in several places, including, Wordriver Literary Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Dash Literary Journal, Months to Years, The Awakening Review, Lucky Jefferson, San Fedele Press, Willowdown Books, The Comstock Review, The Green Light Literary Journal, and Mothers Always Write.