Glow Flesh

By Victor Hernández Cruz b. 1949 Victor Hernandez Cruz
you are falling
sun shine miracle
your lips are wet
                        rain
to our hearts
floods in every opening

on the stoop your skirt rises
fingers go up your legs

you are falling in the streets

the hallways of east harlem
the dark hallways of east harlem
the dark hallways with mattresses
of east harlem
                     you are falling

roll with us
the avenues
you are falling
the night
queen of the earth
you are falling
on us with lips
& thighs
& big round breasts
we hold in our hands
& hear your bomb tick
your blood get hot

come out
crack your eggs
on stupid american heads
queen of the earth
push us to the walls

fall on us
kill us
with your love
& tongue

harlem queen
fine mama
sprinkle us with it

there are no bargains
pure product
                  you are falling

bloom bloom
you got all
sing

dark
& you shine
grown fat
for love

in the dark
you are like
a volcano
with a sea
of heat
          explode
          you are falling
          explode

Victor Hernández Cruz, "Glow Flesh" from Maraca: New and Selected Poems: 1965-2000. Copyright © 2001 by Victor Hernández Cruz. Reprinted with the permission of Coffee House Press. www.coffeehousepress.org.

Source: Maraca: New and Selected Poems: 1965-2000 (Coffee House Press, 2001)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Victor Hernández Cruz b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Race & Ethnicity, Social Commentaries, Love, Cities & Urban Life, Relationships, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse, Ode, Metaphor

 Victor Hernández Cruz

Biography

Victor Hernandez Cruz was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. He moved to New York City with his family when he was five years old, but he didn’t start learning English until two years later when his family bought a television set. He started writing poetry early and at seventeen self-published his first book, Papo Got His Gun! And Other Poems, on a mimeograph machine. Since then, more than a dozen collections of his poems—among . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Race & Ethnicity, Social Commentaries, Love, Cities & Urban Life, Relationships, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse, Ode, Metaphor

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.