To Those Who Have Lost Everything

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)
More Poems by Francisco X. Alarcón