Yo, la peor del mundo

After Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Oh all right we can have sex
     even though I have a headache.
Or remember that time in college
     when we had sex despite my
visual migraine and I forever associated
     your nakedness with blindness?

If I could choose, I’d take more talk,
     less sight, some sex. The best
thing about your voice is it makes
     me want to fuck you. The worst
thing about your voice is it gives
     me a headache, Kara.

At the hot springs, you carried on
     about the semiotics of divorce.
At the hot springs, I was graced
     by the emperor’s advances.
Sor Juana fucked Spain, she fucked
     god and the sonnet in a convent
in a colony and was accused of heresy.

I suspect Carnival and Lent equally.
     They’re like rug burn or the aging
emperor’s anticipation of god. Sometimes,
     when the kingdom is very quiet
and I am pacing the aisles of a store
     forgetting what I came for, I hear
my mother call my name and reach
     for a stranger’s pant leg. In the colonies,
a woman-screech, a gimp shopping cart;
     something squeaky and undriveable.

Kara Candito is the author of Spectator (University of Utah Press, 2014) and Taste of Cherry (University of Nebraska Press, 2009). Her work has been published in Blackbird, AGNI, The Kenyon Review, jubilat, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere. Candito is the winner of a Pushcart Prize and the recipient of scholarships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony, and the Santa Fe Arts Institute. She is a co-curator of the Monsters of Poetry reading series, a creative writing professor at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, and the co-director of Membership for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.