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"old love in psylocibic puerto vallarta" by Anna Bagoly

Updated: Mar 28, 2023


I expected more desert than dripping, green oasis

surprised by my own assumptions

and there she was

the first love of my life

(after my mother, of course)


getting to know each other at 13 in the open-palmed,

throats wide, bleeding hearts way only young girls can


and so deeply lost in ourselves

friends bound by eleven years


she is 24! it is so lovely to see her and she is 24. the last

time I saw her she was 23, but standing in the airport she is

24. we hadn’t seen each other since she was 23, I was 24

already but she was still 23. I hadn’t been able to see her.

but at the airport it’s her 24th birthday. I hadn’t seen her.


she hits her JUUL what used to be cigarettes what used to

be weed. I hit her JUUL, which for me would normally just

be weed. beautiful tile and river stones in the shower and

love-made breakfasts in the old city for this beautiful

birthday. loving to travel yet somehow never had we

traveled together, meeting here


after dubious snack of lemon power bar and minced

mushroom we beheld each other we beheld the land I

beheld the girl I know transform through every pain which

coats our world our fathers had died within months of

each other our mothers were tricked by great age

differences and now she travels to nurse travels because

she is in great demand because she is in great power she

nurses because she is great sacrifice she is great


we beheld the land, a great bay

a hike directly up up

steps sitting on vertical steps

up up

the wet air permeating my cells until I am but soaked and

counting the breaths

against the beating blood

coming up


to see the whole of the bay arms of earth cradle the ocean a

deep blue full of tessellating trees of the sunlight refracting

the rain forest leaves vibrating against blessed sunrays a harmony


I follow the nurse, who is her mother, but is also her,

down the steps, sweating, dripping the air buzzes

around my boundaries my edges walking down the steps I

feel my breathing shake my heart the beating shakes

my chest shaking the blood in my brain between my

ears a butterfly flashing and white we walk down the concrete steps jungle lush and wet around us


having come down but now appropriately come up, we

strip to swimsuits and search for the body softest mother

I have known blue and green and lapping. cradled in

primordial wet I blend with the water the greens somehow

matching perfectly and I vanish I see myself disappear in

the water every need focused around this one desire now

delivered playing in my own happiness wanting to

split apart

to be able to retain.

I feel the greatest calm surge up and through myself into

the atoms of water which my fingers and legs graze. softly

held in the first womb arch-oceanic basin the repeating

geometry of its bottom floated up a soaked flower-of-life

opening and closing and twisting


from the shore she watched me play so much love flowed

through us, two fixed points along the undulating seam of

knowing, seeing the earth sealed off with brick and poured

cement, seeing the reverberance of our loving of our pride

in each other shake the air shake the earth leaving trees in

peals of laughter giving a renewed freshness to all who

passed us together four wings of one white butterfly

unable to go unnoticed

Anna Bagoly (Ah-na BUH-goy) is Hungarian-American and just completed their MA in Poetry at USM. They are fascinated with recreating memories that immerse in sensation and imagery, blending poetry and creative nonfiction to create new forms. They’ve been published in dead peasant, Wingless Dreamer, Black Spot Books, won the Memorial Fellowship at Heavy Feather Review, and have recorded a piece with the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

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