Skip to main content
By Jacob Shores-Argüello

Costa Rica

The bus arrives in the orchid heat,

in the place where coffee grows

like rubies in the valley’s black soil.

We disembark, walk in twos so we

don’t slip on the genesis mud.

The woman next to me carries

three cellphones as gifts for cousins

and a bucket of chicken to share.

How is it that I have come this far

with nothing, that I am empty-

handed in this country of blessings?

A procession of rust-colored macaws

glides above us. Their ashy shadows

draw crosses onto all of our heads.


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.

  • Activities
  • Nature
  • Religion

Poet Bio

Jacob Shores-Argüello
Jacob Shores-Argüello is a Costa Rican American writer. His second book of poetry, Paraíso, won the inaugural CantoMundo poetry prize and will appear in 2017.

More Poems about Activities

Browse poems about Activities

More Poems about Nature

Browse poems about Nature

More Poems about Religion

Browse poems about Religion