Poem of the Day: Iliana Rocha

by | Oct 30, 2015 | Poem of the Day Series, Reading




When Polaris falls, my grandmother
will mourn in the center of the earth, her grief
a giant telescope

through mantle, lithosphere, crust—
a grito.

In her hand, a mirror of polished obsidian—
lava’s reaction to water. In her hand, reflections:
a plumed serpent,

a jaw,
a rosary,
a spirit of thistle,
silver raspberries & beryllium,
frozen rain.

When it was her husband, it was the Ouija board,
her daughters circling
the imperial eye.

When it was the hurricane, it was the attic
of her house,
her canary Pepito, the bird
she kept in its cage even after it died.

She will keep the star too,
when it dies,
grind it into powder

she’ll put in the throat
of her pistol,

cough into the sky.


—from Karankawa, Pitt Poetry Series (2015)
—also previously appeared on Blackbird