Tiffany A. Santos
Tiffany A. Santos (she/they) is an internationally published and award-winning poet, speculative fiction author, creative nonfiction essayist, and blogger. Tiffany has taught various types of writing classes and was the cofounder/editor of Black Hat/ Black Tree Press. Tiffany graduated from St. Mary's College of Maryland with a student-designed Bachelor of Arts in English and Women, Gender, & Sexualities Studies, with a minor in East Asian Studies. She was awarded a certificate in Thai & Southeast Asian Studies from Payap University in Thailand, during her year living in Southeast Asia doing research for her undergraduate thesis in linguistic anthropology. She also completed some graduate-level work in poetry from Carlow University's low-residency MFA program and is a proud Madwoman in the Attic. Tiffany’s poetry, essays, and short stories have been published in several literary journals including Backbone Mountain Review, Voices from the Attic Anthology, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Journal, Lavender Review, Southword Journal, Wicked Banshee Press, and Dionne's Story Anthology. Her poem “Baptism” won the Best Poem Award in the 2019 Backbone Mountain Review. Find her online at linktr.ee/cranberryjade.
Poinsettia in April
What hands have cared for you, combed your soil? The bland wrapping at your base heaved up by tap water poured from an old chipped mug, one of many in the office, though we use them for tea on mountain-chilled mornings. The entropy of you is overcome by small shoots greening in the yellowed light, your red-black leaves tinted beyond the pall. Teach me your wisdom poinsettia in April, when the chipped mug stays on the shelf one day too long and yellowed light is not enough, how you find the strength to live and die both one with the other—curled and puckered but stout and wick, too. Never complaining.
I am made of wanting, here in the dirt unbuckled from satiety fighting with crows, for bits of meat cradled in my palm like fresh blackberries sun-kissed & eaten under the steel-blue sky— Eat them all to hide mouths stained purple for joy. Here is the secret pleasure chanced upon, protected & enjoyed: Wriggling my toes in the lake I jump head first into the shallows. Small token of things longed for & sought, prick my fingers red in hasty forage, crushed yellowed bone sprinkled through graveyards far larger than houses of the living & created moments of suffusion through webs: a mass of tangling, twining life.