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By Lorna Dee Cervantes

after García Lorca

Once I wasn’t always so plain.

I was strewn feathers on a cross

of dune, an expanse of ocean

at my feet, garlands of gulls.


   Sirens and gulls. They couldn’t tame you.

You know as well as they: to be

a dove is to bear the falcon

at your breast, your nights, your seas.


   My fear is simple, heart-faced

above a flare of etchings, a lineage

in letters, my sudden stare. It’s you.


   It’s you! sang the heart upon its mantel

pelvis. Blush of my breath, catch

of my see—beautiful bird—It’s you.


Notes:

The epigraph of this poem was originally omitted in the changeover to the new website. Because of this, reciting the epigraph is optional for the 2019-2020 Poetry Out Loud season.

"'Love of My Flesh, Living Death'" by Lorna Dee Cervantes, from From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger. Copyright © 1991 by Lorna Dee Cervantes, Used with permission of Arte Público Press, www.arte.uh.edu

Source: From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público Press, 1991)

  • Living
  • Love
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Lorna Dee Cervantes
Lorna Dee Cervantes is a critically acclaimed native California (Chumash-Chicana) poet.  She is the former Director of Creative Writing and an Associate Professor of English at the University of Colorado in Boulder where she has taught for 18 years. Cervantes’s writing evokes and explores cultural difference—between Mexican, Anglo, Native American, and African American lives—as well as the divides of gender and economics. See More By This Poet

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