Friday Jun 21

ZamoraJavier Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador. At the age of nine he immigrated to the “Yunaited Estais.” 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 New Border, Ostrich Review, OmniVerse, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and elsewhere.  


We Used to Cut a Cotton Bush as a Christmas Tree

Llegaaaaa Naaaavidadddd y yoooo sin tiii ….”

Abuelita opened another Christmas
with her scratched Buki cassette, dark clouds
wrinkling below her cheeks. Opened it

with her coconut-colored box, inside,
the plastic Christmas tree you sent us. Again,
I helped her build it. I don’t have to

match the red or blue paint on each branch
to the paint on the trunk no more. I know
where they go. I don’t know where

you get your tree. ¿Do you really climb
up a snowy hill with a saw? Abuelita doesn’t
let me choose ornaments from the box

you sent. She never hangs old Christmas cards
either. And every night our lights play this:

“… recuerdo el día en que te perdí.”

[Creciendo Means Ordnance]

here the angels of bomb shells

a maze of them

stacked on each other

honeycombs of them

and children climb as they once did mango trees

cradling those smooth and cold dolls

pull an angel from its honeycomb

hear the crescendo of saucepans struck with spoons

what they sing of rain

que llueva que llueva
la virgen de la cueva
los pajaritos cantan
las nubes se levantan

and then their roped feet

sing yes sing no and the angels


[Rake Our Wreaths]

this has to do with the between one leaf and another

with our holiday that’s a footprint cypress carnations jasmine

night is our skin shut with wax a rabid dog is our mouths

our processions of candles inside the smell of vodka bottles

this has nameless crosses there’s not enough land to bury

because beds and coffins are thornless rosaries no one prays to

and this has to do with sometimes how sometimes wreaths are sickles