The Order In Which Things Are Broken

By Desirée Alvarez Desiree Alvarez
Ancients threw the masks down the cenote—
the faces smashed first in little ways before
the long drop, an eye or an ear broken, a mouth snapped
in half. Then, lifted from the well, two thousand years
later, still grinning and golden. The loose spooling of two
people fast unravels—how we let go of time spent,
how heat fades, how a body forgets fully what it knew.
I have learned your face as you will never.
The third day we met you gave me all your secrets
until I held an ocean in a cradle. Now all I ask for is more.

Source: Poetry (September 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2009
 Desirée   Alvarez


Desirée Alvarez’s poems and non-fiction have appeared in Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. A visual artist exhibiting internationally, she has received many awards, including one from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She teaches at the City University of New York.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Men & Women, Family & Ancestors

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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