Published on Academy of American Poets (

from "For a Daughter/No Address"

like the shapes we made in the things we said were demanding of us
now you ask me why the sky is a tank full of lemonade out back 
all wet tonight and bugs call up a swamp in this desert in my story 
my dad wrote all the wrong names for her on a brick that could lift 
through my mother’s window came the words arrayed in glass 
dusting San Martincito on her dresser cast in plastic with spaces in his robes
a home for the hen the dog made mild in the skirts of the mongrel saint
still lining a thin easy silence around me come the scenes all down our street 
in someone’s car music each word lifted into its own space thumps in the moon’s
heavy sleep breath there are extensions we can read what we said 
it’s such a simple printshop so mothers might tell us about what came 
to be more known     a pear tree in the commons and really 
the words left idle beside     if they could tell us about the forms
if these came to lift them if we could ask sin miedo y sin piedad


Copyright © 2017 by Farid Matuk. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 6, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem is from a sonnet series. The sonnet can be like a box I try to fill with water, family  stories being so much water. My head did a mash-up of Genesis 1:2 and John 1:1, which left me with the notion that in the beginning, the word is carried upon the face of the waters. In the box the lines kind of slosh back and forth. Do parents give a child her face or does she make it? I don’t know much, but I know sometimes it’s good to take a face off, leave it in the water. I hope my daughter finds these words and this water when she needs them.”
—Farid Matuk


Farid Matuk

The recipient of grants and residencies from Headlands Center for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation, Farid Matuk is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Arizona.

Date Published: 2017-12-06

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