Sunday, November 17, 2013

Naomi Ayala's "No. 13, for Remembering" (Split This Rock Poem of the Week!)

Poem of the Week:   
Naomi Ayala  

      
No. 13, for Remembering


Two blocks away
where yellow cabs
zip by without stopping
and the prostitute with the skinny legs
asks for a cigarette
from under her giant,
black umbrella,

in the corner's rain
where some children
are dangerous,
can tell our future
and bet on broken love
between the dreams,

I don't know where my hands begin
and my heart ends.

Oak trees line the sidewalk,
small birds carry spring twigs
above fast-food waste,
and the bold races of rats,
like ghosts of a lost memory,
point to the day of the week.

I don't know where the face of change
is not my own face.

A cold wind picks up.
A man abandons himself
to a tambourine and harmonica--
not praising, not denouncing,
only leaving this place with this sound.

I don't know where we will
end up and begin

but I want to note
that we have been here,
that we too were invisible
and we too were seen.


-Naomi Ayala

From Calling Home: Praise Songs and Incantations  
(Bilingual Review Press, 2013)

Used by permission.     

A native of Puerto Rico, Naomi Ayala is the author of three books of poetry, Wild Animals on the Moon (Curbstone Press), This Side of Early (Curbstone Books: Northwestern University Press), and Calling Home: Praise Songs and Incantations (Bilingual Review Press). She is the translator of a book of poems by the Argentinean poet Luis Alberto Ambroggio, The Wind's Archeology (Vaso Roto Ediciones: Mexico), winner of the 2013 International Latino Book Award for Best Nonfiction Book Translation. Among her other recognitions are a Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy of Environmental Justice Award and Special Recognition for Community Service from the U.S. Congress. Naomi received her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College.

Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive. 
Poem of the Week Open Call Closed 

Split This Rock's Poem of the Week series is booked through the 2014 festival. We will not be accepting any new submissions during this time. Keep an eye out next Spring when we will open up the submissions again. Thanks for understanding!
Support Split This Rock 

Please support Split This Rock, the national network of activist poets. Donations are fully tax-deductible. 

Click here to donate. Or send a check payable to "Split This Rock" to: Split This Rock, 1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036. Many thanks!

Contact info@splitthisrock.org for more details or to become a sponsor.

1 comment:

Sasha Hitchner said...

Love this one! Perfect!
Sasha Hitchner