los lobos andan suelto By Antonia Silva

los lobos andan suelto

my father drowns in the rio grande
on a family vacation to chihuahua
all the brothers & sisters & cousins
are wild wolves, they shed skin & dive
headfirst into a swirl of carpsuckers

los niños grow fangs, shape paws into
flippers & catfish the other swimmers
their gills glub & gurgle & gulp water
bubbles into technique, bodies shift
into some semblance of river creature

& my father, the pisces, chokes
on the music of this familiar body
he loses sight of the pack & catches
a current traveling away from home
siempre alcanzando las estrellas

he snags a bosque branch & washes
ashore on a sandy bank, beneath a cluster
of cottonwoods he hums along with
gnarled gnats & la mariposa de la muerte
making peace with breaths that flicker out

in every season & at every party
stories sneak out of the woodwork
& into the mouth of memory
I shake the water from my ears
crawl closer to lineage

& listen close

my father escapes death more times
than I can count & all the brothers
& sisters & cousins are close behind
they howl to a smoky moon & bare
their teeth against rites of passage

as sound streams
into sanctitude.

By Antonia Silva


Antonia Silva is a queer Mexican-American poet from Santa Ana, California who currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Antonia’s work is published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal.

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