April 23, 2004

La Esquina

arte de la comunidad

To Know

Our fathers were working
men whose nails were
never clean, whose
bodies were leather, the
slick scent of oil, of metal.
Men who came home worn,
creased at the edges, tired
dollar bills.
Men who’s calloused hands
coaxed ballads out of
cracked guitars, coaxed laughter
out of their dusty sons
and dangerous daughters,
Our fathers were men who
would have loved to pluck
the mistakes out of our lives
like feathers from their tongues.
Men who killed suffering cats, not
given to sentiment. Men whose
souls aged overnight.

But today, our fathers
are aged men with bitter
bodies and livers swollen
to the size of their fears.
But we forgive them, a
thousand times a day.

Oh fathers, we beg to know-
how much of Abraham
you have within you?
What have you
sacrificed? What would
you offer if this tired
life was God’s altar
on Mount Moriah?
We, your Issacs, beg
to know, we beg
to know.

Copyright 2003 by Lizz Huerta, from the book, Hostage of Gravity.

Where I am

I would rather
remain frightened in
the dark

and imagine
into being a
heat and
splinter
of truth

convince unwillingly
a soul to climb
rake fingerprints
into fossils
something

more than
something
to remember, no

daily, like air
or curiosity
little pockets inside
tapping their way
into existence

another
thrill of elbow
lurch in the
stomach, go

places we can’t cross
alone for the
memories, no

I believe I would
rather wait.

Copyright 2004 by Lizz Huerta, from the book, The Papered Seed Inside of the Stone. These poems have been published with the consent of the poet.

Lizz Huerta is the oldest daughter of a Mexican father and Puerto Rican mother. She was born and raised in Chula Vista and has been writing poems and short stories since she was seven years old. She is the author of three chapbooks, The Wings of Every Crow, Hostage of Gravity and The Papered Seed Inside of the Stone. Lizz is the co-founder of Brujas y Bellas, a women’s writing circle at a local San Diego art space, Voz Alta. She has recently been living in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México, where she has been taking art classes and focusing on her writing.

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