The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
Rosa Alcalá is a poet and translator from Paterson, New Jersey. Her most recent book of poems is MyOTHER TONGUE (Futurepoem, 2017). She lives in El Paso, Texas, where she teaches in the bilingual MFA in creative writing program at the University of Texas at El Paso.
The body's hidden face
removed of its excesses
is cooked into a codex
this little piggy went to market
this little piggy piled high
what's meant by surface.
Everywhere a nation awaits,
She tosses a bolt of fabric into the air. Hill country, prairie, a horse trots there. I say three yards, and her eyes say more: What you need is guidance, a hand that can zip a scissor through cloth. What you need is a picture of what you've lost. To double the width against the window for the gathering, consider
Why the image just now of a bullet entering the mouth? Why call it raw, when it isn’t sticky and pink like a turkey meatball, just the usual: gold, and shiny, and cylindrical? What about this bullet is uncooked? Why does it multiply with you in parka or short skirt, versions of the you that you were, swallowing raw