Our heads full of someone

else’s story, we
empty the theater

without words, and shuffling from
one dark to another, wander home,
the plaza dead, the bar

closed, someone crying in
the street. For what? To whom?
No one
knows. The doors

locked, we lie
in bed and dream
a language of
our own.


Motherland Elegy

If a box is a room,
let there be a door.

If a door, a window,
a boy in a blue shirt.

He climbs the green
hillside, acres to

be parceled out,
sold. If you hold

the picture of the boy,
you hold the boy,

you hold the ground
where he stands.


A man and a woman touched

at night under stairs,
pinball machines ringing, and,
Sundays, he drove her to

the springs of Coámo, the chapel of
San Germán. Had she ever known
happiness? The road
littered with mangos seemed

to go on
forever. She thought,
The people can’t eat

them fast enough,

as if she were not
one of those people.


And Then

I forgot what made
me angry. Or
was it afraid? As if
a fever, tumbling through

the dark, had broken.
Months ago, you listened to
me sob into
the telephone. I tried

to thank you, dear friend,
after all—for all
the years. It’s as if

we said goodbye
before we knew anyone
was leaving.


Blas Falconer is the author of two poetry collections, The Foundling Wheel and A Question of Gravity and Light, and a coeditor of two essay collections, The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity and Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets. His awards include an NEA Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange, and a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant, and his poems have appeared in various literary journals, including PoetryPoetry Northwest, and Prairie Schooner. He is the poetry editor for The Los Angeles Review and teaches in the low-residency MFA at Murray State University.  His third full-length poetry collection, Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books), is forthcoming in 2018.