american cavewall sonnet
I tried to mouth hope but kept saying hatch-
et. Sing something to stay awake. Here’s
a song about our ancestors: they wore
masks for fear of angels knowing their faces.
They fastened sails to their boats. Paradise,
mother says, hides behind old family
photographs—the dark we hold but dare not
open. Empty bird nest in the old barn.
When I remember you I remember
the animal we built out of stray bones
from the riverbed. The relic rich ground:
the half-buried horseshoe I tripped over.
You shake sun from your hair—I’ll wear your pearls.
All the trees of the field will clap their hands.
C.T. Salazar is a Latinx poet and librarian from Mississippi. He is the author of This Might Have Meant Fire (Bull City Press) and the editor-in-chief of Dirty Paws Poetry Review. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, The Cincinnati Review, RHINO, Grist, 32 Poems, and elsewhere.
Jia Sung is an artist and educator, born in Minnesota, bred in Singapore, now based in Brooklyn, and received a BFA from RISD in 2015. She is currently a 2018-2019 Smack Mellon Studio Artist and Van Lier Fellow, and an art director at Guernica. Her paintings and artist books have been exhibited across North America, including the Knockdown Center, RISD Museum, Wave Hill, EFA Project Space, Lincoln Center, Yale University, and MOMA PS1, and in publications including Hyperallergic, Jacobin Magazine, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and The Guardian.