by Alicia Viguer-Espert
Teresa couldn’t wait to shed the skin of the snake in her spine. For her, the process was a school to graduate to a realm fashioned by light. “Muero porque no muero,” * she wrote, asked to be excused not by skipping a grade but by passing all the tests a heart could take. At night opened the door of silence listened for His voice and when He arrived kept him, like Scheherazade, prisoner with love stories. Having sampled happiness couldn’t care about earthly fantasies. “Muero porque no muero,” she wrote. Trials never stopped her from founding a convent in Seville, another in Salamanca, and in between make time to be interrogated by the Inquisition. A catholic of Jewish descent with karma to burn accepted misfortune but not without stating her mind, “This is the way You treat your friends, no wonder You have so few,” she hurled at her Beloved when storms and flooded rivers almost drown her. The exiled soul remembered her cosmic origin, pinned to return. “Muero porque no muero,” she wrote. But my poor soul frightened to leave the fleshy cage she’s accustomed to cannot imagine lofty astral spheres. Hints of the Beloved’s presence have been few, mostly sober, no drunken nights together. Following Teresa I listen for His voice dream to graduate to His embrace.
* “I die because I don’t die.”
Born in Valencia, Spain, Alicia Viguer-Espert was raised in a bilingual household of Castilian and Valencian, travelled the world, learned English as an adult, began writing in English in 2017 and that same year was the winner of the 2017 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Book. She writes about her relationship to nature, identity, language, home, and soul while dreaming to elicit hope with her poetry. Her work has been published in national and international journals, anthologies, magazines, and web sites. Featured poet at numerous museums, art galleries, libraries, and poetry salons, Alicia is also a twice Pushcart nominee.