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Poem by Pedro Poitevin

Unlike the blissful pinprick wound I felt

some cardamom-infused October day,

when the woman I love rose on her knees

and, guiding both my shoulders down, arched up

to meet my lips, astonished as they were,

my home endures.

Unlike the gray and corrugated streets

of Marblehead I walk half-aimlessly

with Tarski, my black dog, who’ll never smell

the corozo bouquet of Holy Week

alfombras in the city of my youth,

my home is boundless.

Unlike the skin of the cacao fruit

a climbing campesino plucked for us

one sweltering Escuintla summer day

after Jose, my friend, aching to try

the floral taste of what was then my country,

had made me stop the car to ask around

for chocolate “pochas” as we call them there,

my home is deep.

Listen to me: I’ll whisper you a song

about the pensive rush, the narrow wrist,

the skipping pebble of this life before

I sink back home.


A mathematician by profession, Pedro Poitevin is a bilingual poet and translator originally from Guatemala. He is a contributor to Letras Libres and Periódico de Poesía, the Poetry Journal of the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM). Poems in English have appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, River Styx, Angle, Think, and Nashville Review, among other venues.

Image by Rodrigo Flores

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