poem index


A. B. Spellman

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A. B. Spellman is the author of From Things I Must Have Known (Coffee House Press, 2008). 

by this poet


3. Not Knowing Better

florene barco moved
to philadelphia &
on a visit home told
us she went
to school with
white kids

it was a lunar image

everything shouted
to us
the patterns
we walked. the ease
with which they



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i will die in havana in a hurricane
it will be morning, i'll be facing southwest
away from the gulf, away from the storm 
away from home, looking to the virid hills 
of matanzas where the orisha rise, lifted 
by congueros in masks of iron, bongoseros 
in masks of water, timbaleros in masks of fire
by all the