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Poem of the Week: January 28, 2019

Hello readers! Every week, BOA's staff and interns share a special poem from our over 300 collections of poetry. This week's poem is from Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, winner of the GLCA New Writers Award and finalist for the NCIBA Golden Poppy Book Award for Poetry.

El Frutero

Apá likes his fruit sweeter than his women.

I imagine Apá growing a garden
in the next room though I know he is not.

I imagine Apá holding my mother’s face beneath him
and slowly parting its earth for a plum orchard.

I open the door.
I know I’m supposed to look
away from his reaping.

My mother’s face a blue
only known to exist in seeds.
Her limp body flapping with air.

I am young.
It is early.
She smiles at me and I don’t look away—

her eyelids opening long enough
for me to see the ripeness
his hands are capable
of tending.

After he leaves, I gently gather
the plums of her eyes
and tuck them
in my pocket and put her to sleep.

I walk to a field
and bury them somewhere far,
so he will never find them.

When I return, I rub salt all over her body
so not a single blossom will ever grow there again.


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