Mama never said there’d be debuts like these, presenting new poets who arrive with unforeseen, indescribable gifts. Over the mountains of Tijuana at age five, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s journey included an MFA at the University of Michigan—the first undocumented student ever—on to teaching positions at Sacramento State University and Ashland University. Cenzontle recently won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize.
Yes, we drowned, then changed our minds,
then drowned again,
because we could,
because no one would know the difference—
a leaf to its trembling
when it is no longer a leaf
but just a trembling.
We splashed against the current—
a zipper of palms opening and closing.
We were too busy to notice
that everything we touched
was a little bell that was a little famous.
The sun opened its curfew and song
as I swam to shake the sounds
of your laughter off me.
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