By Amber Ortega

My body can’t hold anymore the life that it keeps
My ribs keep loosening and the vertebrae lets go like old screws dropping their responsibilities
My pelvis holds on, the only place that won’t give up its grip

It holds my psoas in a clench and throws my body around like a whip of bones and viscera

My skin is a sack, empty
My hair is a dried bed of leaves
My feet are empty shoes
My hands are fallen windchimes

Each time I drift away I return with less of me

Each time I exit I feel more in a home

Returning, drifting backwards from where I started

Like waves pulling me back to warm sand and sending me forth into a deepness/profundity
I’m falling
here and then there               then back here              and again             over there

My vertebrae mounts the sky like a monster
constructing itself in the upper space
bridging worlds of then and now

My body parts dangle from this bone and cartilage
swinging violently from coxis to occipital joint

My weight lands in that world and I sit in the sun
then it is dragged back
and flung to that world
where the voices are strong

Amber Ortega (MFA/BFA) is a Queer Xicana-Tejana, choreographer, educator, writer, and collaborator. Her hybrid poem, WATERHEATDREAMPLACE, was most recently presented at the 2022 El Mundo Zurdo Conference sponsored and hosted by The Society for the Study of Gloria E. Anzaldúa (SSGA). WATERHEATDREAMPLACE is the first work to come out of her ongoing exploration of embodied writing practices alongside her colleague, Lauren Tietz. The work is a part of her larger project, The Body As Land. Ortega’s dance research is centered on investigating dance as an epistemological tool for knowing, and applying this knowledge across disciplines, pursuing transdisciplinary dialogue. https://sites.google.com/view/amberortega/home