el corazon lento : the slow heart

note: written while on a recent trip to Mexico, and on the aquasition of a beautiful piece of art; a linolium print of a snail with a human heart instead of a shell, with roses growing from the ventricles, illustrating the phrase “el corazon lento”, meaning “the slow heart” or “I am faithful to you”. … More el corazon lento : the slow heart

shadow birth

where did the shadows come from? the day was bright and fair, the breeze was not a burden. they came and went so sweetly, latticework curled softly by. through leaf-ed cathedrals, apartment windows, posted bus-stop schedules and the mingled grumbles of a city not quite sleeping yet, an afternoon nap. sunshine and the moving air, … More shadow birth

rejoice alone

so this is the time to be alone, and rejoice. your heart is still whole after all these years. when there was nothing save the sidewalk salt, cigarettes in the gutter and unwashed skin— it was for naught but now. you were made to button shirts, read bright-covered books. run your hands through the puzzle … More rejoice alone

small things

the tenderness of small things; apricots lush velvet in the palm of your hand, filigree spider web. how quietly an ant breathes. slow journey of caterpillar to leaf, dawn to dusk. I found a down feather today, perhaps a bird will bloom from it. … © 2019 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.


I wait for telephones to ring, books lie unopened in my lap. After all is said, and done, and wept, I doubt he will come back. My hands hold knives too tightly, cut the bread too slow. Apples rot and willows bend until they bend no more. Dark gum adheres to pavement, gutter muck and … More heartache

frail fresh

The cruel crystal smirk of a sigh, the whispered promise: I do not want you more than lies. Whatever frail fresh truth is, it is not you. … © 2018 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.

mine love

My heart has hardened in the years since; if I am diamond now what was is mist, coal dust scuttled in the mine too deep, wet walls and heat condensed, the fog of sleep beneath the stones of weeping; where do men toil? In the earth, to find the things they think of worth. … … More mine love

bug love

If not the bumblebee, the fly. If not the cricket, a close-kept thigh. If not the beetle, then the flea. If not the moth, an open knee. If not the gasp, a sigh. A table small and nothing shy. … © 2018 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.


I look to my hands, and remember when they were small. When they first changed, the palms thickening and spreading, the tight spring of fingertips curling over, newly bony knuckles revealing tendons too tight and fragile. Slice peppers, peel oranges, untangle the small chains my father could not, tie double, triple knots, rinse thin champagne … More hands

sleeves pulled thin

Coffee so hot it burns more than the throat, quiver and break and begin again more tremulous than ever. Sheathed wrists and sleeves pulled thin by uncut nails. Averted eyes and stale radiator hiss. Papercuts that break skin but do not draw blood, unwashed linen and too many dishes in the sink. Remember when you … More sleeves pulled thin