"Love of My Flesh, Living Death"

By Lorna Dee Cervantes b. 1954

after García Lorca

Once I wasn’t always so plain.
I was strewn feathers on a cross
of dune, an expanse of ocean
at my feet, garlands of gulls.

   Sirens and gulls. They couldn’t tame you.
You know as well as they: to be
a dove is to bear the falcon
at your breast, your nights, your seas.

   My fear is simple, heart-faced
above a flare of etchings, a lineage
in letters, my sudden stare. It’s you.

   It’s you! sang the heart upon its mantel
pelvis. Blush of my breath, catch
of my see—beautiful bird—It’s you.

"'Love of My Flesh, Living Death'" by Lorna Dee Cervantes, from From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger. Copyright © 1991 by Lorna Dee Cervantes, Used with permission of Arte Público Press, www.arte.uh.edu

Source: From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público Press, 1991)

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Poet Lorna Dee Cervantes b. 1954

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Landscapes & Pastorals, Nature, Relationships, Animals, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Allusion

 Lorna Dee Cervantes

Biography

One of the major voices in Chicana literature, poet Lorna Dee Cervantes’s writing evokes and explores cultural difference—between Mexican, Anglo, Native American, and African American lives—as well as the divides of gender and economics. Born in San Francisco in 1954 to Mexican and Native American ancestry, Cervantes was discouraged from speaking Spanish at home in an attempt to protect her from the racism prevalent at that . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Landscapes & Pastorals, Nature, Relationships, Animals, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Allusion

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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