*This poem includes text in italics from “Drug War on Doorsteps All Over Ciudad Juárez,” by Stephen Holden and “Ciudad Juárez, a Border City Known for Killing, Gets Back To Living,” by Damien Cave, both published in The New York Times.
Natalie Scenters-Zapico is the author of The Verging Cities (Center for Literary Publishing 2015) and Lima :: Limón (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming). She has won …
It was a beginning like any other which isn’t
quite the way it was. With beginnings,
where to start? The house that was my first
was a house that Daddy brought to Virgil
atop a flatbed truck. He made his boys fix
it to the foundation, then do whatever else
was necessary to create a kind of permanence.
I wasn’t there then. Then I was, driving Daddy
through the old neighborhood where the …
We cross the Vincent Thomas bridge
in our Hyundai Santa Fe. We’re on our way
to my grandparents’ house
& then the market to get husks for the tamales.
Our car begins to shake
& the ground beneath seems to wiggle.
It is time for the bridge to collapse
after 83 years. Cars begin careening
off, some hang over the edge like they’re about
to go skydiving but not quite ready to jump. Some …
Stitch up the trees,
the end of time.
Could it be jubilant
to come apart?
Earth to fire to air
in a brilliant instant,
splitting the bone.
I try to remind myself
how petty we are
in the face of life’s evaporation.
Captured by tides:
resistance // embrace.
An ocean growing slowly between us.
Spouting from secret wells,
glimpses of terror
at 2:30 p.m.: will you leave will you
love will you believe in me even now.
These small stakes …
I dream about you during the work week with teddy bears in my mouth &
you with a sword impossible to own. The second sentence is love isn’t
loving anyone for less than your entire life if you want your life to last that
long. We come together for the sake of not knowing what else to do. The
words are the ones, along with the sounds, that define …
His ardor turned into an antelope-shaped ice sculpture, its taste and shape memorialized
at film festivals all over Spain. Hers fossilized into ambivalent scorn, trapped under a notebook in Arkansas.
Whenever you wish to, you may conjure me. If I were little beside these digital images,
serving as half-erased traces of whatever latest—or oldest—interpretation you attempt to
inscribe in pixilated ink.
Global landscapes are not altered alone, or via …
Jordan Nakamura was born and raised in Hawaii and lives in Los Angeles. His work has been published in The Curator.
Briny and smiling, he stood
in the kitchen, pulled me over
to the pot, lifted the lid:
an odd insect with pomegranate-
seed eyes waved its feelers
like awkward chopsticks.
I pitied this fish-knight,
fully armored and fallen
into a boiling, iron bay.
As teenagers we poach lobster
after midnight to slip Gamies,
craft traps in the canyon,
smuggle them aboard our skiff,
bait chum and let them sink.
By dark we hoist stuffed
lobster pots up from the coves,
I cough the sun out of its sky. Letters of the alphabet hurt toward the end. Can we go on without
pronouns? There are at least five ways to say aunt which depend on age. I tear a page out of the
phonebook & place it on my chest. Wind moves through a place other than trees. When we want to
learn a language, what we find to …
Knowing drifting is a process both expected and un-, some
types of animals include lizards, include elephants, include
an amount of pre-thinking to remember that sound travels freely
through an open window, that windows are good enough
and necessary for all. And summer months, we need them most.
With grasses and saplings, eyes adjust to smallness, because
to see them wave or bend gently or …