/marina carreira


Careful not to drown each other,
my therapist warns. I tell her
my partner and I are both Aquarius,

that I dreamt she left me for another
life. I never considered how this love
could swallow me until all my limbs

burst and are remade brick.
I’ve always thought this love
a revolution of lavender,

a warm compress on the belly
of illness, a Hollywood dingy
in the movie storm of my life.

But the tide is coming in strong
with doubt, ebb and flow revealing
rot. Memories of better days at sea

does nothing to quell the undertow. 
Truth is, love’s always sunk me—
renegade mermaid I stand

at a distance from
the wreckage,
more hook than fish.


I’ve been ready for the End Times
since Avó adjusted the restless
rusty antennas, turned up Telemundo,

and watched American-formed wars
and famines in Spanish, muttered,
É o fim do mundo to no one.

I sat by the open window and looked
out at the Sanitation guys toss bags
heavy with memories of the Old World,

police dash down East Ferry in a fury
to lock up someone just trying to survive.
When Amalia was born, my body became

a pandemic; I believed I would kill her
if I didn’t wash my hands a billion times
a day, skin raw as meat, toys sanitized

till they broke, binky boiled to death.
As expected, she grew up to show me
we all get sick and live anyway.

Today, I watch neighbors swarm
the ShopRight, load up on overpriced
nonperishables and generic bleach,

Amazon sell out of masks and Purell,
stock markets plummet and men
in charge making terrible decision

after terrible decision, always putting
human interest last. The irony of folks
that hate the poor and migrant

trying to flee from their contained cities.
Some things never change, some people
never will  but I’ve learned everything

but death is inevitable. When the end
of the world comes, I will await its arrival
the way Avô greeted every morning

in his old age: peeling an orange
extra slow, delighting in how
it leaves our chins smelling.

Marina Carreira is a queer Luso-American writer and multimedia artist from Newark, NJ. She is the author of Save the Bathwater (Get Fresh Books, 2018) and I Sing to That Bird Knowing It Won’t Sing Back (Finishing Line Press, 2017). She has work featured in Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Paterson Literary Review, The Acentos Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Green Mountain Review, Hinchas de Poesia, wildness journal, and Harpoon Review. Marina is a recipient of the Sundress Academy for the Arts Summer 2020 Residency fellowship. As a visual artist, she has exhibited her work at Morris Museum, ArtFront Galleries, West Orange Arts Council, Monmouth University Center for the Arts, and Living Incubator Performance Space {LIPS} in the Gateway Project Spaces in Newark, NJ. She is founding member of “Brick City Collective”, a Newark-based multicultural, multimedia group working for social change through the arts.