19 Pokrovskaya Street

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION -

My fa­ther lights the kerosene lamp, his beard bit­ten, hands wet from the river, where he kneels to pray in the morn­ings, he sits and pulls out his ra­zor, rum­mages through a gun­ny­sack, pa­pers, pho­tos of his chil­dren in an­other coun­try, he cries a lit­tle when he men­tions his mother, Benita, and his fa­ther, Salomé, who ran a sta­ble in El Mu­lato, Chi­huahua, eyes cast down then he points to the mu­ral on the wall, the red an­gels de­scend­ing to earth, naked moth­ers with bel­lies giv­ing birth, lovers in wrin­kled green trousers, and a horse with the fig­ures of chil­dren laugh­ing on its back, a goat floats across the night, a flank of tawdry farm­ers un­furl into a sparkling for­est moon where el­e­gant birds sit on snowy branches, here is a minia­ture vir­gin where the yel­low flames light up the vil­lage one dancer car­ries fish­ing poles and easels with di­a­monds and other jew­els as colors, my fa­ther is si­lent when he sees th­ese things cut across my face.

Ex­cerpted from “Half of the World in Light: New and Se­lected Po­ems” by Juan Felipe Her­rera. Copy­right 2008 Juan Felipe Her­rera. Reprinted with the per­mis­sion of the Uni­ver­sity of Ari­zona Press. This ma­te­rial is pro­tected from unau­tho­rized down­load­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion.

To­mas Ovalle For The Times

AS CAL­I­FOR­NIA’S most re­cent poet lau­re­ate, Juan Felipe Her­rera trav­eled the state to show­case young po­ets’ work across var­i­ous me­dia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.