by C.T. Salazar

earth @ your lips earth saying I was a good
son and look where it got me look hard but
in the dark it’s impossible to know what flag
what fog + what face you’ll face thankfully
the dirt is always warm look @ me holding
the heat like terracotta it looks like weeping
how the angel must hide his face in his hands
a posture the artist mistook for grief but 
grief is most visible in the jaw winging 
pain only the shoulders can carry tend earth
and it blooms up your name in your mother’s
voice how you thought an angel must sound
all this trumpet vine who else would say your
name yes reason enough to acre the aching


C.T. Salazar is a Latinx poet and librarian from Mississippi. He’s the author of Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking, forthcoming from Acre Books in 2022. He’s the 2020 recipient of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in poetry. His poems have appeared in The Rumpus, Cincinnati Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, 32 Poems, and elsewhere.