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poet

R. A. Villanueva

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R. A. Villanueva

R. A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he currently lives in London, England.

by this poet

poem

At the columbarium dug
by hand, a man points to where rock
doves would be brought to nest, their eggs

tended by priests, and the cave locked
at sundown, guarded by hired
knives. The flock meant meat for the dry

times; saltpeter; yolks needed to bind
portraits to walls, to raise

2
poem

Not vinegar. Not acid. Not
sugarcane pressed to mortar by
fist, but salt: salt, the home taste; salt,
the tide; salt, the blood. Not Holy

Ghost, but a saint of coral come
to life in the night crossing a
field of brambles and thorns, the camps
of pirates beat back to the bay

2