Dímelo by Viviana Prado-Núñez

Viviana Prado-Núñez was the winner of the 2017 Morgan Parker Poetry Prize for her piece, "Dímelo."

“A language is enmeshed in a social and geographical matrix just as a rare species is enmeshed in an ecosystem.”

Nettle, D., & Romaine, S. (2000). Chapter 4 – The Ecology of Language. In Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages, 78-98

Plane landing. I know this unrolling sprawl. Young woman in a plastic chair. Blue box at the edge of the ocean. Coca-Cola bottles and bamboo shoots. Panadería without a name. Gravel parking lots. Cigarette butts. Boys in bikes no shirts. Dogs and ribs. Horses tied to fences. Doorless tin can on the freeway. Quenepas unpeeled, orange withered in the sand. Billboards for boob jobs. Stones weathering into themselves. When  dawn blooms the cock crows. My grandmother speaks to me in Spanish and my tongue is a tide unto itself (blackbird swallowing the sun). There is no knowing here. Plane door opens. At the edge of knowledge, one can sense this staticked wall of heat, this island at the end of a tunnel. Please tell me there is no ending here.

Illustrated by Dora O'Neill and Eileen Gao

Illustrated by Dora O'Neill and Eileen Gao