Miriam Navarro Prieto :: “Borago Officinalis as Pleasure” and “I Am the Fire, and I Am the Forest and I Am a Witness Watching It”

Borago Officinalis as Pleasure

A year passed of you picking me up from class, every Friday,
you waited for me outside, with your six-years-older-than-me pose,
We walked to my mother’s home, had lunch together, took a nap,
and I always complied, thought myself full enough just because you were.
But that springtime afternoon, my hungry hand caught by accident 
what had always been between my light green sheets, climbing 
up my calves: unexpected scent of chlorophyll, the warmest
flash of indigo coming up my thighs. Yes. I still don’t know how
I came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do for myself
was grabbing you and use you. Yes. Stamens covering my eyes blind 
but never stop my hand. Yes. There. Sweet nothingness. For the first time
I arrived at my destination, seventeen, starflowers flooding my mattress,
a stupid boyfriend panicking. We lasted another year, exclusively thanks 
to my hand learning how to use your otherwise trivial manliness. 
Thank you. Yes.


I Am the Fire, and I Am the Forest and I Am a Witness Watching It

So today, I will wear my white button-down I can at least be neat walk out and be seen as clean And I’ll go to work, and I’ll go to sleep And I’ll love the littler things, I’ll love some littler things.

A Burning Hill, Mitski

The burning hill of my body is all
the things: the fire, the forest, the witness,
the embers, the thirsty firefighters, the clean
politician shaking their hands, the angry remains of dead
trees raining down, the light that warms the hands,
the light that seduces the eyes, the warmth
that floods the cheeks, the pine needles joining
the sky, the paper sheets that will never be,
the fruits not rotting anymore, the clouds
of magpies that left, the moles that couldn’t,
the impatient sun, the soil turning grey,
the soil turning delivering room, the rhythm
the holm oak leaves explode in when the heat comes,
the moon that is not there, the moon that in fact is
always there, the river turning air turning water,
the threads of my fingers tied around my waist,
the threads of my fingers pulling me up,
the right white button-down to die in, the right
button-down to tuck in my jeans, the littler things
not waiting for me, the littler things I can do,
the littler things coming after me, the littler things
I don’t know about, the littler things that maybe want me here.


Miriam Navarro Prieto (she/her), Spanish artist drifting from performance to visual arts, currently focused on life-drawing the most-diverse-possible humans, and writing poems on autobiography, ecology, gender, queerness, and the politics of memory. Her first self-published poem collection Todo está vivo is also available online in English as Everything Is Alive, translated by the author. Her poems have been featured in The Pinch and Paranoid Tree, among other journals, and her illustrations in The Winnow. Ecognosis, her second poetry collection in Spanish, was a finalist for the I Premio de Poesía Letraversal (Letraversal Publishing House’s I Poetry Contest), and refuses to be put in a drawer; it will come out someday, somehow. For the last three years, she’s been sending out a monthly bilingual newsletter-podcast on her creative process, with plant trivia, and translated literature. Right this moment she’s anxiously waiting for an acceptance for her first poetry chapbook in English, a reflection on her Post-Spanish-Civil-War ancestry.