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picked up this slim tome at half price books. a peek inside and the poem Ode to El Cabrito captivated me. i knew this book was coming home with me.

“A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying” by Laurie Ann Guerrero was the 2012 winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Guerrero went on to become the 2016-2017 Texas Poet Laureate. but back to this book.

it is impossible to package the weight of these poems into a single post. these poems are universal but local. Babies Under the House is heart-wrenching, not just because of the subject matter. it is a story we all know, have heard, seen in the news, only with the names changed.

the tongue, it’s power to taste, “lick you from the inside/until slaughter,” all told with the tongue of 2 languages, 2 worlds. these poems reside inside Nepantla, the place where different worlds meet (Gloria Anzaldúa).

Guerrero has 2 other volumes of poetry, which are going on our “to read” list.

scorpion

ennui or waiting

as summer creeps in with 100 degree heat and scorching sun, it is easy to stay sequestered in the air conditioning. the past year of quarantine has made the inside

hot july night by eric short

In your bed, pretending to sleep, secretly counting fan blades like flower petals, wondering He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me. Thank god there are five.  

A Closet Story by Jo Matsaeff

I remember dressing up as Salvador Dali for a Carnival parade at school somewhere between 2009 and the end of my teenage years.   My young face, rounder than it

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