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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and immigrated to California with his family at the age of five. He received a BA from Sacramento State University and an MFA from the University of Michigan. Castillo is the author of Cenzontle (BOA Editions, 2018), which was chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. Prize.  A founding member of the Undocupoets, he lives in Marysville, California.

by this poet

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                      —For Sandra María Esteves

Color it all blue.

                      My father and my father’s father and his.

                      Marcelo
                      Marcelo

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I’m going to open the borders of my hunger
and call it a parade.


But I’m lying if I said I was hungry.


If dying required practice,
I could give up the conditions for being alone.


I undress in the sun and stare at it
until I can stand its brightness

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The music stopped playing years ago
but we’re still dancing.

There’s your bright skirt scissoring
through the crowd—

our hips tipping the instruments over.

You open me up and walk inside
until you reach a river
where a child is washing her feet.

You