once mourning doves made me think of graveyards today they peck at weed seeds clean my land the oldest on record lived thirty years and four months from the time it was tagged until it was shot how many mates did it mourn American toads breed at the neighbor’s pond I wring laundry to hang on a clothesline mostly black when I was eight a man trapped me in the stairwell to our New York apartment the note from his pocket loose-leaf cutout blue ink print said I was beautiful a scalpel in his pocket how many would die in a war without weapons I was born in the middle of an Andean hurricane the first time I saw Mamá her blue eyes reflected green from the flame of a candle the last time in Florida her eyes were shut yesterday Aaron and I planned a garden for our new Connecticut home asparagus and blueberries can’t be harvested for two years seeds must avoid hickory taproots cilantro has to be direct-seeded doesn’t like to be moved my sister bought her first house after med school lived there twenty-five years before renting it out I’ve moved twenty-five times from rental to rental clouds dissipate on our ridge we buy spades trowels pruners window sheers fog on the trees lingers coats the open grass droplets vaporize burn the fog how does one quench an instinct to bolt
Luisa Caycedo-Kimura is a Colombian-born writer, translator, and educator. Her honors include a John K. Walsh Residency Fellowship at the Anderson Center, an Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Fellowship at Ragdale, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. Her work has also been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. Luisa’s poems appear or are forthcoming in the Cincinnati Review, Sunken Garden Poetry 1992-2011, RHINO, Diode Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, Nashville Review, the Night Heron Barks, and elsewhere.