Permanezco Prendiendo Velas En La Entrada De Mi Casa Y Viendo El Viento Apagarlas

 

Poem of the Week
Amy M. Alvarez

Amy M. Alvarez wears a black turtle neck and a red patterned maxi skirt. She stands in the foreground with her body facing to the left while her face gazes directly into the camera. The background features a street and is blurred.

Content Notice: Black death via state-sanctioned violence, grief
 
I keep lighting candles on my stoop and watching the wind snuff them out
 
I keep thinking about Breonna Taylor asleep/ between fresh sheets/ I keep thinking/ about her skin cooling after a shower/ about her hair wrapped in a satin bonnet/ I think about what she may have dreamed that night/ keep thinking about her bedroom/ whether she had painted it recently/ argued with her partner about the undertones in that paint/ this one more blue/ this one more pink/ that she may have felt more at home now that she had chosen the color on her walls/ I keep thinking about how she could use her hands to keep blood moving through a human heart/ how she could use her hands to stanch the flow of blood until platelets arrived/ I wonder how many times she heard/ thank you for saving/ please save/ I wonder how many nights she could/ I keep thinking about her when I lie in bed at night/ when I wake up and look in the mirror/ when I walk to my front door/ I keep thinking about the life she wanted to build/ whether she had her eye on a ring and was dropping hints to the man who chose to protect her/ whether he was working on it/ whether it was in his sock drawer already as he waited for the right time/ I keep wondering why a black woman’s death alone can’t begin the revolution/ whether the sweet smoke rising to the heavens across this nation is offering enough/

___

Amy M. Alvarez invites people to amplify and support RAICES, which provides legal support to immigrants in detention, including children who would otherwise appear in court alone. Learn more at their website.

Used with permission. This poem first appeared in the “Black and Glorious: Towards Black Liberation” issue at The Acentos ReviewPhoto of Amy M. Alvarez above by Adam Lewis. 

___

Amy M. Alvarez‘s poetry has appeared in Crazyhorse, The Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, PRISM international, Rattle, and elsewhere. Her work has also been anthologized in Choice Words: Writers on Abortion (Haymarket, 2020). She has been awarded fellowships from CantoMundo, VONA, and The Furious Flower Poetry Center. Originally from Queens, New York, she currently resides in Morgantown, West Virginia and teaches in the Department of English at West Virginia University.

___

Please feel free to share Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask that you include all of the information in this post, including this request and a link to the poem at Split This Rock’s website. Thanks!

To read more poems of provocation and witness, please visit The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database at SplitThisRock.org.

___

Please note: We strive to preserve the text formatting of poems over e-mail, but certain e-mail programs may distort how characters, fonts, indents, and line wraps appear.

 

Source: Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week, Amy M. Alvarez.
 

 
Amy M. Alvarez wears a black turtle neck and a red patterned maxi skirt. She stands in the foreground with her body facing to the left while her face gazes directly into the camera. The background features a street and is blurred.
Permanezco Prendiendo Velas En La Entrada De Mi Casa Y Viendo El Viento Apagarlas

Por Amy M.. Alvarez

Sigo pensando en Breonna Taylor dormida / entre sábanas frescas / sigo pensando / en su piel enfriándose tras una ducha / en su pelo envuelto en un gorro de satén / pienso en lo que pudo haber soñado esa noche / sigo pensando en su dormitorio/ si lo había pintado recientemente / si discutió con su pareja sobre los tenues tonos de esa pintura / este es más azul/ este más rosa / que podía haberse sentido más como en casa ahora que había escogido el color para las paredes/ sigo pensando en cómo podía usar sus manos en hacer que la sangre siguiera fluyendo a través de un corazón humano/ cómo podía usar sus manos para detener la salida de la sangre hasta que las plaquetas arribaran/ me pregunto cuántas veces oyó/ gracias por salvarme/ por favor sálveme/ me pregunto cuántas noches pudo hacerlo / sigo pensando en ella cuando yazgo en la cama de noche / cuando me despierto y me miro en el espejo/ cuando voy hasta la a puerta de entrada/ sigo pensando en la vida que quería construirse / si tenía puesta su vista en un anillo y le dejaba caer insinuaciones al hombre que decidió protegerla / si él estaba ocupándose de eso/ si él ya lo tenía en la gaveta de sus medias mientras esperaba el momento apropiado/ sigo preguntándome por qué la sola muerte de una mujer negra no puede iniciar la revolución/ si el dulce humo que se eleva hasta el cielo a lo largo de esta nación ofrece lo suficiente/

____

Amy M. Álvarez convida a las personas a ampliar y apoyar RAICES, organización que proporciona apoyo legal a Inmigrantes en detención, incluyendo a niños que, de otra forma, tendrían que presentarse en el tribunal a solas. Conozca más en su sitio web. Empleado con permiso. Este poema apareció primero en el artículo “Negro y glorioso: hacia la liberación negra” publicado en The Acentos Review (Revista Acentos). Foto de Amy M. Álvarez, arriba, realizada por Adam Lewis.

Archives