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Claudia Castro Luna

Claudia Castro Luna was born in El Salvador. She received a BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine, an MA in Urban Planning from University of California, Los Angeles, and an MFA in poetry from Mills College. She is the author of Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press, 2017) and the chapbook This City (Floating Bridge Press, 2016). In 2019, Castro Luna was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. She currently teaches at Seattle University and serves as the poet laureate of Washington State. 

By This Poet

2

Assiduously

From a coffee cup’s sweet bitterness into cold wind swept knowing that the place you search and yearn for is nowhere, no street names, no city gate. No degrees nor longitudinal measures to speak of. A compass can be useless when you are lost. Nowhere multiplies in your chest ravenous, like yeast. It hurts. The exact second, your shadow on the pavement. Sometimes your life is a minute ahead and a few days behind the place you want to be. Sometimes things align and you want to tear a piece of the shadow as you would a piece from a loaf of bread. But this place you search has no replicable terrain, no map. It moves as you move. A shapeshifter with a tropic of memory, a tropic of fear, a meridian to decide you can and an equator to know you choose.

María Cristina Hanging Chrysalis

What would I do
for a smidgeon
of your rebellion María?
As a woman to trust
the halo of your intuition
I know you know
courage plummets
easily from cliffs of doubt
both imposed and self harvested—
How to make manifest
what the mind knows
but the eye cannot yet see?
How to pluck Hope 
from the terraced gardens
where it grows?
I think about the nature of change
the transfiguration from grain to woman
the audacity of salt to embolden water into ocean
the urge to break free