SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

How We Lived by Emma Trelles

         2017

 

And sparrows unthread nests, bring their young nothing

 

And shadows best seen inside the pitch of a cave

 

And three men stabbed on a train because of courage

 

And jacarandas flick cinder and blacken the ground

 

And the harbor horn is a creature roping hulls to the reefs

 

And the reefs gleam with chrome and absence

 

And absence is welcome

 

The bullet is welcome

 

The malignant cell is welcome

 

The gray faces and their merciless tongues are welcome

 

And a father is reptilian in his regard. And a mother stitches

 

Her lips like a wound. And the wound smells of silence and its blaring

 

And a child lays hands on a mine. And a man swallows his lies without measure

 

And a woman is told she is less than him she is less than the bodies left

 

Behind, less than the unmade, the never-was, the dirt forgotten by the tracks

 

And I no longer care about the losses. I no longer care if the last

 

Bit of bark is stripped from the earth, if the starved possum survives

 

The road, whether my neighbor coughs blood while she drags off a red

 

Or the hand turning the knob means me harm. I no longer fear

 

The inexorable diagnosis, the oceans rising to such heights

 

In my dreams they are monstrous but we are all still running

 

Towards each other, in this latest hour, refusing to shutter our eyes.


Emma Trelles is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press), winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, a finalist for Foreword/Indies poetry book of the year, and a recommended read by The Rumpus. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Miami Rail, The Los Angeles Review, Zocalo Public Square, Poet Lore, Best American Poetry, Best of the Net, the Miami Herald, and others. A recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, she lives with her husband in California, where she teaches at Santa Barbara City College and programs the Mission Poetry Series.

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