“and even you forgot those brilliant flashes seen from afar” -Ruth Stone

Elegy for Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca

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sombras sin ramas sin hojas

            incensed biliary selvage
                 permanent concrete division

            where armed men prey

he was running was not running
threw did not throw
appeared to be larger than a child

drainage caught in concrete slough
              fences wrought in shapes of wrought fences

que poder es una mirada al cuerpo

                                      boy-shaped body
                                                                         in permanent fall

          foramen fossil caldera alma

que poder es una mira mi cielo

         where armed men are paid

                      ladies and gentlemen

                                              he was running not running
                                              he was thought to be

                                              he was claimed

                                              he appeared

Coronary Angiogram

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Coronary arteries iodine-flooded, black serpiginous branches ramified over near-invisible beating muscle, again and again, repeated with each looped beat, from nothing to iodine branches, from nothing to this black crown the muscle wears that keeps it alive, the muscle whose ejected blood forms the crown.

At a museum in Quito I saw knots tied along lines of hand-woven silk. Beautiful and multi-colored the Quipus hung, perhaps the coded names of Inkas killed by Spanish, perhaps an art form, or both, and I thought that maybe you would have known what they were.

There are many poems made of words but for you I wanted to make something beautiful.

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Appears in this issue
Paul Hlava Ceballos is the author of banana [ ], winner of the 2021 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, chosen by Ilya Kaminsky.

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