Monday, April 1, 2013

a poem by carmen calatayud

When I Learned You Were My Brother

time traded us around.
You’re the warrior with silver eyes
& I’m your sister, flickering.

I ask about God
You blink
& the sky is pregnant with helium
We laugh ourselves to death.

To the palace we go.
I hug statues, you sculpt Noah’s face.
I want to tell the children.
I brush against the place where angels live.

We hear sirens & smell heaven.

You were my brother before the ark
before crocodile rocked
before Nixon quit.

You were the stone beside the church
the lightning bug I put in a jar,
the silkworm that ate my first communion veil.

I don’t know how to go back
so you teach me seven prayers.

Cigarette burns,
moon wails, lizard sheds his tail.

To see you in the dark.
To speak to you, divine.

Carmen Calatayud is the author of In the Company of Spirits (Press 53, 2012), chosen by Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root for the Silver Concho Poetry Series. The book was a runner-up for the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. Carmen is a Larry Neal Poetry Award winner and the recipient of a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship. Her poetry has been published in several journals and anthologies. Born to a Spanish father and an Irish mother in the U.S., she is a poet moderator for Poets Responding to SB1070, a Facebook group created by poet Francisco X. Alarcón that features poetry and news about the Arizona immigration law that legalizes racial profiling. Carmen works and writes in Washington, DC.

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