“Remember the pears, they were so green,
and the avocados, like guitars, honey-golden, and
the asparagus, like a lion’s rainy mane, and…”
Our mouths water. Their mouths water,
I am used to these stories. I am used to the land
barren, bitten and aflame with lies. I am used to
our faces in this new wild dispassionate light.
I learned this from my musician friends, from
years waging futile wars with poetry until
I could no longer think of anything else.
—Juan Felipe Herrera, “I Walk Back Nowhere,” Half of the World in Light (Univ. of Arizona Press, 2008)