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About this poet

José B. González was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and emigrated to the United States at the age of eight. He received a BS from Bryant University, an MA from Brown University, and a PhD from the University of Rhode Island. González is the author of When Love Was Reels (Arte Público Press, 2017) and Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). The recipient of a 2012 Fulbright Scholarship, he teaches at the United States Coast Guard Academy and lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut.

breaking away to the u.s.

finally,
a day so perfect that
this morning’s awakening bombs
are overtaken by a woman’s wind chimes
of “tamales, tamales.”

on the way to the airport
iguanas hang upside down,
even they smile.

along farms and fields
rotten bullet seeds
are overtaken by flowering weeds.

on the side of the highway
a tall Maquilishuat tree gives
birth to premature pink petals
&
inside a plane headed north,
yani & i fly so high
that we can’t tell
cornfields from fences;
it’s such a perfect
final day.

From Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by José B. González. Used with the permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

From Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by José B. González. Used with the permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

José B. González

José B. González is the author of Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). He lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut.

by this poet

poem

red pen in hand,
he tells me lines should
                                                   break
in order to empha-
                                       size
certain words
like the ones in my family’s history:
first-
            shift
second-
            shift

poem

She sews to sew sleeves all day,
adding arms to shirts,
& leaves in the morning
before the first chocolate melts, returns
with stretched arms that hang
as if they’ve been pulled by their joints,
& even when it seems that the rest
of her body will not catch up to her will,