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Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal is the author of the poetry collection Beast Meridian (Noemi Press / Akrilica Series, 2017), a recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award and was a 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award finalist. She was born in Rio Grande Valley borderlands and lives in Los Angeles, California.

By This Poet

1

Portrait of Atlantis as a Broken Home

              I swim down to 
              look for our four-
              chambered house.
                            The window
              in our room still leaf-
              darkened, its bruiselight
              charged with fault. 

Am I very lonely? 

             I age in reverse until I am as
             small as my child
             body, my chest swollen
             with bright longing

             that the walls will not always
             greet each other 
                           in collapse—

The lord is kind.

             The underworld is lit by half
                          -moon as if to say, none
                          of this is evidence,
                          only decay.

             In the drift, this wreck still looks like a life:
             everything still hanging is relieved
             of its weight like an archer’s arrow
                           suspended in rags 
                           of snow.
             I hunt the me
             that made this heavenless night,

             my young fear circling your
             false beacon, its low
             stars and difficult earth stacked
             immense against
             every fact—

I should be funnier here:

                            Underwater, iron sinks

                                                                            weightless as       

               a kite 

                                     plummeting 

                      through peaks.