Monday, April 21, 2014
a poem by javier zamora
The Shatter of Birds
Javiercito, you’re leaving me tomorrow
when our tortilla-and-milk breaths will whisper
te amo. When I’ll pray the sun won’t devour
your northbound steps. I’m giving you this conch
swallowed with this delta’s waves
and the sound of sand absorbing.
Hold it to your ear. I’m tired
of my children leaving. My love for you shatters windows
with birds. Javiercito, let your shadow return,
alone, or with sons, but soon. Call me mamá,
not Abuelita. All my children learned the names of seasons
from songs. Tonight, leaves fall.
There’s no autumn here. When you mist
into tomorrow’s dawns, at the shore
of somewhere, listen to this conch.
Don’t lose me.
"The Shatter of Birds" first appeared in Four Way Review
Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador. At the age of nine he immigrated to the United States. He is a CantoMundo fellow and a Breadloaf scholarship recipient whose work was selected for inclusion in Best New Poets 2013. His chapbook, Nine Immigrant Years, is the winner of the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts Contest. Zamora's poems appear or are forthcoming in Connotation Press, Four Way Review, New Border, OmniVerse, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. He is an MFA candidate at NYU.