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By Javier Zamora

It was dusk for kilometers and bats in the lavender sky,


like spiders when a fly is caught, began to appear.

And there, not the promised land, but barbwire and barbwire

 


with nothing growing under it. I tried to fly that dusk

after a bat said la sangre del saguaro nos seduce. Sometimes


I wake and my throat is dry, so I drive to botanical gardens

to search for red fruit clutched to saguaros, the ones at dusk


I threw rocks at for the sake of slashing hunger.

But I never find them here. These bats say speak English only.


Sometimes in my car, that viscous red syrup

clings to my throat, and it’s a tender seed toward my survival:

 


I also scraped needles first, then carved those tall torsos

for water, then spotlights drove me and thirty others dashing


into palos verdes, green-striped trucks surrounded us,

our empty bottles rattled and our breath spoke with rust.


When the trucks left, a cold cell swallowed us.

Source: Poetry (January 2016)

Poet Bio

Poet Javier Zamora was born in the small El Salvadoran coastal fishing town of La Herradura and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine, joining his parents in California. He earned a BA at the University of California-Berkeley and an MFA at New York University. Zamora’s love of poetry was sparked in his last year of high school when visiting poet Rebecca Foust introduced the class to Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. In his poems, Zamora often engages history, borders, and memory. 

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