derrame by Noel Quiñones

They call it the shoreline,
el abismo que tiene poder
too wide to hear plain truth
so replace your split frame
con un coquí cuya voz grita
Lo siento, la primera palabra
siempre es permiso. Its
bramble song, catching sand
in its test of boundary, forgive
it’s mythic forgery creada
a través del mar. What to feed
a schism of necessity que se
parece a un hombre, the halfbreed
coquí laments rain in el vientre de
la selva, drowns its limbs for not
knowing el ancho de su sed.
How sad, no puede hablar
Español? The room fills with
dirt / liquid, su abuela se ahoga
porque no podía salvarla.

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Contributor Notes

Noel Quiñones is an AfroBoricua writer, performer, and educator. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Pilgrimage Press, The Acentos Review, and Winter Tangerine Review. He has received fellowships from Poets House, CantoMundo, and Brooklyn Poets. His performances have or will be featured on Centro at Hunter College, Button Poetry, and Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival. Noel lives in NYC, where he is a member of the Bowery Poetry Club slam team and works at the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families supporting communities in the borough of his upbringing, the Bronx. Visit him at or @NQNino322.