Speech Cantos

****************I am the tongue transmuted—

the chatter of cousins
********I haven’t seen since elementary

when the world was more kaleidoscope
than anything else. In Xalapa

we ran games under corrugated roofs

********ran fingers through silver-fished rivers

****************ran mouths until they filled with pan con jamón
****************y sopa de fideo

during vacaciones at Tia Gracia’s, a bigger-than-most

home from Pa’s childhood
dreams, with long dirt driveways
and walled-fences that kept us safe. The same house

********Spanish wore me over-


at ages 4, 14, 22.

********How can one’s music can be another’s
********wreckage? Down the street

Felipe would mock
****************my accent
more American than having Jason Kidd’s on my feet.

********More American than our toothpaste suburb.

****************More American than sangre. Of 12

********siblings, Pa was the only who flighted north.


Alan Chazaro is a public high school teacher pursuing his MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. He is the current Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow and a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. His work has received an AWP Intro Journals Award and appears in Huizache, The Cortland Review, Borderlands, Iron Horse Review, Juked, decomP, and others.


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