April 19, 2009

Benjamin Alire Sáenz: “To the Desert”

Posted in Poetry at 8:19 pm by The Lizard Queen

To the Desert

I came to you one rainless August night.
You taught me how to live without the rain.
You are thirst and thirst is all I know.
You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,
The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brand
Your breath into my mouth. You reach—then bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new
.
You wrap your name tight around my ribs
And keep me warm. I was born for you.
Above, below, by you, by you surrounded.
I wake to you at dawn. Never break your
Knot. Reach, rise, blow, Sálvame, mi dios,
Trágame, mi tierra. Salva, traga
, Break me,
I am bread. I will be the water for your thirst.

—Benjamin Alire Sáenz, 1995

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1 Comment »

  1. Judith Santillan said,

    This poem is one of the best poems I have ever read. I can connect to this poem so well; it has my style and my language. This poem has a language that I can understand and compare myself with. Knowing Spanish and English is not so easy; in fact it’s confusing sometimes. Benjamin knows how to combine his culture and make a Latino proud.


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