Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Little Wolf #8
April 2018 

Guess I Asked For It
by Diego Estrada

Guess I asked for it
Give them a drink
              Quench the thirst of those to blind to see
              Clearly your flow
Drop down below
              Keep going until the heat
              Becomes too great
              Until you wave unto steam
              But don’t bend because of them
              Bend because of geography
              Ignore their attempts to percolate
MERCY. Bless
              You’re so cool, you eat a stone and only ripple
              I’d hate to hurt your topography
Remind us of why we desire you
              Of why homes are built next to you
              Of why we float above you
              Of why we learn to swim

Ha Akedah
by Elaine W. Clark

She sat on the bathroom floor holding the tiny form in her hand. She was amazed at how much it looked like the pictures in her fetus development books. Then the tears started. Only two weeks past the first trimester and yesterday at work she had felt the need to explain her thickening middle, always intimidated by the other women so svelte in their tailored suits. She had been reluctant to spread the news – the memory of six weeks past still ringing in her mind.

“It will be deformed,” her husband had said when the doctor confirmed her pregnancy. She was forty and her husband fifty-three, ages at which the doctor told them they both could contribute to abnormalities.

“We don’t know that for sure,” she murmured, holding her belly tight as he ranted on.

“How could it not?” he yelled. “I’m around mindless bags of shit at work all day! I’ll not have one under my roof.”

The tears had come readily then. She pleaded with him to discuss their options.

“Your main concern is your ages,” the doctor had said calmly, as if
that made everything all right. “You can go for genetic counseling,”
he had suggested, as if that would solve the problem.

The genetic counselor had been kind; offering them a procedure, chorionic villus sampling. It had only a five percent chance of inducing a miscarriage but would determine whether or not the baby had Downs’ Syndrome.

“It isn’t a hundred percent accurate for everything,” the counselor had said.

“We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” her husband had said, sympathy in his voice after hearing the heartbeat of the growing fetus in her belly. “I don’t like that five percent miscarriage rate, especially if this is a boy.” But then his true sentiment had emerged. “Amnio is less risky. I want you to promise me that if amnio shows any malformation, we’ll abort.”

“I just want to love this baby,” she had pleaded, but her husband wouldn’t let her leave the room without making the promise. She had promised, but God, in all his mercy, had taken the dilemma from her. After a long day at work, meeting the demands of her boss, then errands and coming home to cook dinner and begin the laundry. It was when she lifted the clothes basket to go to the laundry room, a rush of fluid from between her legs. She had called the doctor.

“I think my water broke,” she had said in a timorous voice.

“Any bleeding?”

“No, but I’m cramping.”

“You’re probably fine but come into the office tomorrow.” The doctor had sounded so confident.

Then she understood. This child of her later years on the altar
or the old goat with his horns caught in a bush bleating, “Meee, meee, meee.” She had made her choice, had plunged the knife in this possible son, her little Isaac. She pulled herself weakly off the floor, leaning against the bathroom door frame as she called to her husband, asleep in the next room. 

                             New Mexico
                                 by Tina Lucero

New Mexico
Home of the best
Home of the wild wild west
Home of the Rio Grande
Home of Billy the Kid
Home of the road runner
                      Home of the balloon fiesta
Home of world’s longest tram
Home the atomic bomb
Home of white sands
Home of the caverns
Home of the UFO
Home of the Rough riders
Home of red chile ristra
Home of green chile hatching
Home of proud heritages
Home of the Lobos
But most of all
New Mexico is
My home