PoetryIssue 04 | April 2009

Four poems by Suzanne Parker

Ocatlan

What I remember of Mexico
is being lost in something arid
not just the bleached stone we drove  
    through
but something I couldn’t remove
from myself like the dust clouding
the car’s inside, how it choked, left us
half-blind, eyes grit-filled as the
    landscape.
Then, we arrived and there was a market:
goats, parakeets like the last caged
    light,
Cokes, bobble heads, fruit shocking
in its color like we could start
again if I only knew its secrets,
how to turn sand into scarlet,
how to say ‘yes’ when all I’d practiced
was a mumbled ‘no’— to the children
with their sharpened pencils,
the women swamped in black
on the curbs, the men who hissed,
touched themselves, the virgin
with a hundred hopes flickering
at her feet, the chapel walls blossoming
with mold and you stood at the altar
saying ‘come’.  Even the cold juice
of the jicama couldn’t wash the road
from my throat, miles where the dogs
looked at me and cringed, retreated
into the thin, insufficient shadows.

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About the author

Suzanne Parker has recently returned from a month in Paris where ate a lot of croissants and wrote poems about Framingham, Massachusetts. Suzanne was a finalist for the New Rivers Press Book Award in 2008, and her work has recently appeared in A Gathering of the Tribes, The MacGuffin, NYC BigCityLit, Poetry Motel, Rattapallax and others.

Read our current issue:

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hands off by John Amen
Etched by Michael Bazzett
First Day in Sydney, 1992 by Catherine Bull
Two Poems by Laurie Byro
Seamstress by Krista Genevieve Farris
Train Kids by Tracey Gratch
Floating World by Karen Greenbaum-Maya
Two Poems by Bernard Henrie
Transcendental Nocturne by Colin Honnor
Newport Mansions, Observed from the Cliff Walk by Jean L. Kreiling
Gifts: Naxos by April Lindner
Two poems by Gary Maggio
10-100 by Bradley K Meyer
Two Poems by Kassandra Montag
Microclimates by Lisa Ortiz
Ukrainian Now by Lauren Reed
Two poems by Kim Suttell
Two poems by Pepper Trail
Morning Trip to the Mechanic by Samantha Walters
Two Poems by Anna Weaver