4.6 stars/ Open until 11:30pm
Alms for Saint Anthony: I’ve lost my wallet three times in this city and it has always come back. Green leather clutch purchased in 2017 from a Coach outlet in New Orleans. The most recent time, I am already in a bad way. Despair bubbles to the crown of my throat. When I reach for my wallet and it’s not there. I retrace my steps to Alfama, where I’ve had my eyebrows threaded one hour prior. The women in the spa haven’t seen it. One makes a phone call to a colleague. No one saw. I walk out of the spa and into reception on the verge of losing what little is left. The receptionist sees me and says, Please don’t cry, I think I have what you’re looking for. She produces my wallet from behind the counter. I left it on the blue velvet couch. Its contents— my residency card, debit card, Celeiro card, Humana punch card with almost enough stamps for a discount, are intact.
My angels are asking me to swim.
Some days I am the front stroke, and others the brackish estuary. A mess of land and sweet and salt. Waterlogged branches of this way and that way mouthing towards and away from land. A friend cautions me: in trying to define something we know little about, we risk calling the weather the Adamastor. I think of ripe strawberries and the monster in my jaw.
Emily Marie Passos Duffy is a poet and itinerant performing artist. Her poetry debut, Hemorrhaging Want & Water, is out now with Perennial Press. She was a finalist for the Noemi Press 2020 Book Award and a finalist of the 2020 Inverted Syntax Sublingua Prize for Poetry. Her written work has appeared in Inverted Syntax, Portland Review, Dirt Media, Boulder Weekly, Spit Poet Zine, Terra – uma poética de nós, collective.aporia, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. She lives in Lisbon with her cat, Magda, where she is a doctoral student in Translation Studies. You can receive monthly missives from her at duffylala.substack.com.