Poems by Letisia Cruz


Image courtesy of Michael. Shared via a Creative Commons license.



You walk in with your crimson
like there’s so much to reap here, so much
to give. Yet here I am
on the usual ground
with this gravity and this sky so dim.
I’ve given it all before.
I’ll do it again.

We sit at the game table counting
misfortunes in the shape of domino tiles:
Red wolves were extinct when you found me.

I was born with a double-nine in my hand—
you called it unluckiest of all
but I’ve always loved the weight of it.




The Best Singer in Camajuani

Six dogs bark at sunrise
louder than any rooster on this island. Out here
canines patrol the patio. Seven descendants
of African wildcats roam the living room;
they growl beneath doors.

The woman dries her hands
on her lap. Sparks her cigar. Over the sink
she carves pig guts, serves thirteen bowls
evenly. Then pushes the needle
over the record and hums,
silencing them all.

Back in their shacks,
grown men growl at sunset.
Island guards patrol the streets.
Equality served—no matter
their appetite,
she will bury them all.




Letisia Cruz is a Cuban-born writer and illustrator. She is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MFA program and currently lives in Miami, FL.