On November 3, 2017 Cecilia Llompart will read new works with Poets Live.
Cecilia Llompart was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Florida. Her first collection, The Wingless, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in the spring of 2014. The recipient of two awards from the Academy of American Poets, Llompart’s work has been included in various anthologies and has appeared in journals such as Gulf Coast, TriQuarter!y, The Caribbean Writer, WomenArts Quarterly Review, and Clockhouse Review. Most recently, she has served as guest editor for an issue of Matter: A Journal of Political Poetry and Commentarythemed around the subject of displacement and displaced peoples, and serves as chair of creative writing for The Blue Ridge Summer Institute for Young Artists, interned for The Paris Poetry Workshop, and founded New Wanderers, a nomadic poetry collective that sponsors poets on long term travel projects.
Do Not Speak of the Dead
“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
I was born among the bodies. I was hurried
forward, and sealed a thin life for myself.
I have shortened my name, and walk with
a limp. I place pebbles in milk and offer
them to my children when there is nothing
else. We can not live on cold blood alone.
In a dream, I am ungendered, and the moon
is just the moon having a thought of itself.
I am a wolf masked in the scent of its prey
and I am driven—hawk like—to the dark
center of things. I have grasped my eager
heart in my own talons. I am made of fire,
and all fire passes through me. I am made
of smoke and all smoke passes through me.
Now the bodies are just calcified gravity,
built up and broken down over the years.
Somewhere there are phantoms having their
own funerals over and over again. The same
scene for centuries. The same moon rolling
down the gutter of the same sky. Somewhere
they place a door at the beginning of a field
and call it property. Somewhere, a tired man
won’t let go of his dead wife’s hand. God
is a performing artist working only with
light and stone. Death is just a child come to
take us by the hand, and lead us gently away.
Fear is the paralyzing agent, the viper that
swallows us living and whole. And the devil,
wears a crooked badge, multiplies everything
by three. You—my dark friend. And me.
(as featured on Poets.org)