POEM OF THE WEEK: Rodney Gomez

Rodney Gomez




Do you know

that in Teotihuacan

families buried

their loved ones

under their homes?

They couldn’t bear

to unfasten

their own lightning.

Then I discovered

the elegant falsity

of believing the dead

can listen.


This toe is a plectrum.

Two breasts calcified

by mouths

stuffed with thorn.

Mother, where

have you unburdened


Even now

the bone whistles

to quake the tar

from your body.


I slathered flour and lard

over my face

to summon the womb

that made me.

And clapper rails.

Your head was much

too big for my body.

I rattled around,

the invisible committee

beside me.

¿Todavía hablas Español?

I continue squawking.

And do you know?

Even the house’s joists

regret you.


The machete employs a doula.

But these sutures

have no origin.

A hole drilled in the head

where you slipped a scroll

professing your love.

But I betrayed your



Gorditas stacked

like sandstones.

Calabaza con pollo

y me vale la pena.

A smattering of Vitacilina

on your thighs.

How little I knew

about anchors or ballasts.

How to organize the till

or soak my feet

in Epsom.

I never learned to skin

nopalitos of their thorns.

I didn’t even know

I lacked a womb.



RG (1)Rodney Gomez is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and the proud son of migrant farmworkers. He is the author of Citizens of the Mausoleum (2018), Baedeker from the Persistent Refuge (2019), and the chapbooks Mouth Filled with Night, Spine, and A Short Tablature of Loss. His work has appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Blackbird, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. He is the recipient of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize from Northwestern University, the RHINO Editors’ Prize, the Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and the Rane Arroyo Prize. He studied philosophy at Yale and earned an MFA from the University of Texas-Pan American. He works at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and reviews poetry for Latino Book Review.

Comments are closed.