By Desirée Alvarez
Anger is the other person inside
mi garganta, my throat.
The mouth’s mouth is the deepest.
Rage is the homeless boy fallen down a well.
Shout down and he will echo back.
La lengua, tongue.
How long have you been down there?
The letters of Cortés are difficult to read,
on each page a horse dies.
The lord of the city lives homeless in a canoe.
Hundreds of natives are speared.
Another town is burned alive
with all its caged creatures.
On each page the people appear to walk
over their dead.
La tierra estercolada, the earth fertilized,
spreads a cloth whose pattern repeats.
On each page the future arrives
on a raft woven of snakes.
Over and over, the design obliterates.
Never does he say this was their home we took.
Source: Poetry (April 2019)
Desirée Alvarez is a visual artist whose first book is Devil’s Paintbrush (Bauhan Publishing, 2016).
More Poems about Arts & Sciences
Sestina in Prose
It was like climbing a mountain to those of us who’d climbed one. To the others, it was like, I suppose, something else. In other words, we let
everybody find her own figure of speech.
Not that it—speech—lay thick on the...
The Heart Shows No Signs
The heart, the surgeon says, does not reveal
the small rifts, the hairline cracks which
split the hairline cracks they conceal cops
and robbers in a stretch of skin flaunting
star-scars with show of blood bone
the ledges of what it holds tight in checkmate
More Poems about Living
We gathered in a field southwest of town,
several hundred hauling coolers
and folding chairs along a gravel road
dry in August, two ruts of soft dust
that soaked into our clothes
and rose in plumes behind us.
By noon we could discern their massive coils
How to Triumph Like a Girl
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
But mainly, let’s be honest,...
More Poems about Relationships
When I say But mother, Black or not Black,
Of course you are polyethnic, your look does not change
Though it does harden, a drying clay bust
Abandoned or deliberately incomplete,
All the features carved in
Except the eyes. What I’m trying—
I mean—You are an...
Town of Frijoles
In the town of frijoles,
men eat their meals without
washing their hands, wanting
to bless their mothers’ food
with soil from the fields.
In the town of frijoles,
boys beat on hollow pots,
the last wiping of their sides
with a piece of tortilla as
holy a moment...