Iowa Writes

Yes, We Were Always Poor

Like raindrops, like semen, the stars
began to drip into the wide girth
of the towering tree of the night
that echoed with cicada music.

Under a bridge, water flattened
like so many delicate wings
on my eyelids, until I jerked
at the distant ring of a shotgun.
Night, let the testimony begin.

Tree of tomorrow, I am ravenous,
afraid, waiting to be born anew.
Like my father's, the sand may whip
out of my throat, but I am not quiet.

Yes, we were always poor, although
we could not see it—Ěthe tortillas
with salt and butter and coffee
were all that could see, until the screen
began to darken—I must close my eyes.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Mario Duarte is an alumnus of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has published poems in The American Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Sycamore Review, among others. Mario is an Academic Advisor in the Academic Advising Center at the University of Iowa.

This page was first displayed
on June 16, 2006

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