Rodney Gomez

My mother cradles

a sapling between two


A spent cannon.

She worries

about her teeth.

¿Y quién tiene la culpa

de todo eso?

Before she was soot

she was powdered

milk, her mouth

a foundry

of plum trees.

Now that she is gone

the confessional is glad

to release her rumor

back into the world.

The day she combusted

her bedroom window

opened its mouth

to exhale.

Everyone in the room


Night reminds me of cities

with no cores,

how anonymous

conversation can be

without compass.

Every belief, even passing,

like cellophane.

Everyone who passes

that window

sees a shroud:

they say ghosts.

I say a reminder

to breathe.

about the author