Millicent Borges Accardi







The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead

              Based on a Portuguese fairy tale


This is the arrangement.

You are alone in the careful

Boxed garden, inside

A brick city of no arrival.


The air drums up like skin

Stinging with a golden

Promise. Then there is this wind

And the roses, feel their steadiness.


There is a muscular wind

That lifts your skirts about

Your face, like night into day,

The cloth rustling and pulling


Is a prince going to war.

Guided by your tension,

You want so much to be inside

This stretch of time, this battle


To hold yourself down. The cloth

Brushes your neck and such,

And the struggle burns like a lingering,

Burns upon your forehead.




I Adore the Field


              (based on a blog entry by Jacinto Lucas Pires)


Many times I, by hand,

Over hand, imagine shades

Of the finished trees

Wrapped up for the soul

Both black and white

Stepping over plants

With their spotted-rooted feet

as if they were Helen of Troy.

Oh, how many times not

Did I desire a garden of where

To plant steel and other hard verses

of the sky filled with an immensely blue

Size that we only can have

When we are far from the city.

And also I see, in the paintings

of António Palolo. Oh, the space.

The holes in the landscape,

Bare places-palcos, where we can

Sing. To dance, to speak when the world

Stops masking the face of modernistas,

Stops glorifying saints, their rags,

Clothes or threads, futuristas, no,

Not that, I adore the field.




              Originally appeared in Verdad: vol. 11


Clean like Spain.

First now

A city, soiled, no

Water enough to keep

For a whole resistance

To war.

How could mind-reaching

Exist with a long walk

To ruins, castles

A family dries dishes

Together, stops, pauses

Hidden to inhabit

Flowers of bumble bees

To mark up UNESCO city

Castles charm, menial


Women’s work this drying

Going through the wall of language.

Dishtowel, I ask you to stand

Like Spanish, like Czech like Russian,

So soft and pliable meant

For ordinary

Dishes dried in any language

This cloth I

So soft and pliable meant for. . .

I came here because it reminded

Me of you, more, I bought this

Because it reminded me.

Being careful never helped

Anyone grow.

Too many words

The best I can do

Time I remember in ordinary

Objects. My mind works outside

Myself. It’s rough and more adaptable

Than the soul

Of just objects. I hear

The words so fine and delicate

So forgiving the soul

Of an object. Life lifted

Dish by dish by water

What can a kitchen tell?



This Requires However


If he loved me forever, sin

Then his mouth would turn

Into a moon, sin

If angels fit on the head

Of a homeless man, sin, the elbow

Would slip against her throat, sin.

Los pueblos, los niños 

Embargo profundamente

Find the road of your generation, sin

Too much, but none the less

There is a reason for the calendars.

Sin, it seems forever we will all sit and

The rays will touch only

The song.









Millicent Borges Accardi,  a Portuguese-American writer has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, CantoMundo, Fulbright, the Corporation of Yaddo, and California Arts Council. Her most recent book is Only More So (Salmon Poetry, Ireland). Find her @TopangaHippie


New Poetry Collection: Only More So @ Amazon


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