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In the city spring burns its way out
of me any way it can. Mother, I’ve made
a list of all the lovely things you’ve done
for me so I can remember when I leave you.
The tiny fields of mandrake, the violet lawn
of hawkweed where the deer stares
with enormous splayed ears. Up high along
the cliff live the animals with spikes who climb
the hickory trees. I could go anytime now
and it would not be about the afterlife.
I will not be limited to truth. My mouth
will be hard against your forehead.
Desirée Alvarez is a poet and painter born in New York City. Her first book, Devil’s Paintbrush, won the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Award from Bauhan Publishing. She has a video poem currently featured at Luna Luna Magazine and has published in Poetry and The Iowa Review. Alvarez has received numerous awards for her written and visual work, including the Willard L. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner. Her poetry is anthologized in The Traveler’s Vade Mecum, forthcoming in Fall 2016 from Red Hen Press. She has received fellowships as both a visual artist and writer from Yaddo, Poets House, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program. Alvarez exhibits widely and teaches at New York City College of Technology, CUNY, and The Juilliard School. She also teaches poetry to New York City public school teens as part of an Artists Space initiative. “Trading Post” is from a manuscript in progress.
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