To Those Who Have Lost Everything

By Francisco X. Alarcón b. 1954 Francisco X. Alarcon
crossed
in despair
many deserts
full of hope

carrying
their empty
fists of sorrow
everywhere

mouthing
a bitter night
of shovels
and nails

“you’re nothing
you’re shit
your home’s
nowhere”—

mountains
will speak
for you

rain
will flesh
your bones

green again
among ashes
after a long fire

started in
a fantasy island
some time ago

turning
Natives
into aliens

Francisco X. Alarcón, “To Those Who Have Lost Everything” from From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche. Copyright © 2002 by Francisco X. Alarcón. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.

Source: From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche (University of Arizona Press, 2002)

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Poet Francisco X. Alarcón b. 1954

POET’S REGION Mexico

Subjects Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Francisco X. Alarcón

Biography

A prolific writer for adults and children, Francisco Alarcón was born in California, although he grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. Alarcón returned to the United States to attend California State University at Long Beach and earned his MA from Stanford University. His collections of poetry for adults include Tattoos (1985); Body in Flames/Cuerpo en llamas (1990); De amor oscuro/Of Dark Love (1991); Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION Mexico

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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