Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Lines Breaking

red pen in hand,
he tells me lines should
                                                   break
in order to empha-
                                       size
certain words
like the ones in my family’s history:
first-
            shift
second-
            shift
third-
            shift,

that words are like the earth
                shifting
back and
                forth during an
earth-
                quake
& that verse has more meaning
when words can teeter-
                                            totter.

but as much as I try to
break the lines in their proper
                                                            poetic
                                                                          places
there are words
that I cannot separate,
like father, mother and child,

words that I cannot break again
like father and leaving, mother and deserting,
child and hurting,

words that stay together all by themselves,

like immigration, isolation, desolation.

Credit


From Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by José B. González. Used with the permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

Author


José B. González

José B. González is the author of Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2015). He lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut.

Date Published: 2017-09-18

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/lines-breaking