Where Esmeralda Sings 

by Alexis Santos



I think I have a Honduran grandfather.

He carried my dad on his back across a river

and left him on the other side for the fish to feed on him.

They would eat away at anything that looked like cowardice

until he was a castaway bottle formed of sea-glass.

So now I can put him to my eye when I want to see

what it means to be a man with the morals of a Mayan Sea Catfish.

My dad is a bottle formed of sea glass 

and there are forgotten Honduran cities all down his neck, like Yoro. 

That’s where small silver fish fall from the sky during monsoons,

and people turn their umbrellas inside out if they have families to feed.

I look out through my father and from the bottom, 

past the city of raining fish,

and past the gold rings of his mother’s left hand 

that clink and clank inside him when he’s shaken good enough,

and past the green mountain iguanas being turned on a spit roast,

from the glass bottom of my father,

I see my grandfather’s back as he crossed the river 



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