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By Brenda Cárdenas

You shout my name

from beyond my dreams,

beyond the picture window

of this Rosarito beach house.

Rushing from bed to shore

I glimpse their backs—

volcanoes rising out of the sea.

Your back, a blue-black silhouette,

feet wet with the wash of morning waves.

Fountains spring from mammal minds,

my hands lifting a splash of sand.

I’m on my knees,

toes finding a cool prayer

beneath them, fingers pressing

sea foam to my temples,

while you open arms wide as a generation,

raise them to a compass point,


If you could reach them,

you would ride their fins

under the horizon,

then surf the crash of waves

left in their wake.

And if I could grasp

my own fear,

I’d drown it,

leave it breathless and blue

as this ocean,

as the brilliant backs

of whales


for air.

"Song" by Brenda Cárdenas, published in The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry by University of Arizona Press. Copyright 2007 by Brenda Cárdenas. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (The University of Arizona Press, 2007)

  • Living
  • Love
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Brenda Cárdenas
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Brenda Cárdenas writes in a blend of English and Spanish, which she has said reflects her interest in “the interconnectedness and juxtapositions of difference and similarity between seemingly disparate peoples, events, places, and experiences.” She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. See More By This Poet

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