A Poem by Ananda Lima

Ananda Lima

Ananda Lima

Ananda Lima’s work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Rattle, The Offing, PANK, Origins and elsewhere. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and is pursuing her MFA in fiction at Rutgers University, Newark. She was selected for the AWP Writer to Writer program and has attended workshops at Bread Loaf, Tin House, the Community of Writers and Sewanee, where she currently serves as staff. Ananda is working on a full-length poetry collection centered on immigration and motherhood, and a novel set in Brasilia, where she grew up as the daughter of migrants from Northeast Brazil.


      -After Caetano Veloso (“Transa”)

My dreams are populated by places
to which I cannot return
parades, people splashing water,
under the sun at high noon
at the edge of rivers de água doce
where the washerwomen carry their loads
on their heads, walking away from the water
towards the shade of short twisted trees
that never shed leaves but gift cocoa or pequi
or cashews, by which I mean the whole fruit
with the juicy flesh that hangs from the nut
But here
I hear my voice
and I sound too much like myself
like Caetano, my tongue wrapped
in plastic, clumsy as it rolls
cold bites of this language in my mouth
never able to truly taste them
while my son in the backseat
gorges himself