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poet

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez

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Cindy Williams Gutiérrez was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. She received an MFA from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. She is the author of the small claim of bones (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2014). The founder of the Miracle Theatre Group’s ¡Viva la Word! program, she lives near Portland, Oregon.

 

by this poet

poem

We will smudge
our shoulder blades with wings of ash.

We will sow
your remaining ash in an untilled field.

We’ll toss
red carnations, red dahlias, red hibiscus.

We’ll release
white doves and flutter white handkerchiefs.

We’ll return
to the field to watch brave bulls

poem

Softly, it always began softly.
Then slowly swelled to a wail.
Men’s voices. Maybe seven of them
up on the hill behind the house.

A breeze through the window
stirred the curtains like clouds.
I was five, or six. Around midnight
it would start—such a doleful sound.

They were

poem

                    Mother, you will persist in fragrances—
the nectar-scent of carrots, pineapple, pecans
baking in a two-layer cake. I will shorten
my mornings into hours of praise.

                    More than alchemy, fresh cilantro—
in pungent handfuls—will be sautéed with garlic,