Terafines

Son abandonados,
enterrados, tirados entre tiestos.

Y nosotros, desterrados del espíritu,
alma-velas agitadas y enmarañadas
en las adujas de nuestro hablar,
el pensar un trapecio embrollado,
colgamos en el espacio.

       Esperan nuestro regreso
o nuestra caída —
       rechonchos, sólidos, graves,
             formados de la tierra.

 

Teraphim

They are abandoned,
buried, lying among shards.

And we, exiles of the spirit,
soul-sails flapping & snarled
in the fakes of our words,
thoughts a tangled trapeze,
dangle in space.

       They await our return
or our fall —
       squat, solid, grave,
             earth-formed.

 

 

 

 

Rafael Jesús González, native of El Paso, TX, taught Creative Writing & Literature at Laney College, Oakland where he founded the Mexican & Latin American Studies Department. He was Poet in residence at Oakland Museum of California and Oakland Public Library 1996. Four times nominated for a Pushcart Prize, he was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English for his writing in 2003. In 2013, he received the César E. Chávez Lifetime Award. In 2015, the City of Berkeley also honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, he was named the first Poet Laureate of Berkeley.
(Photo courtesy of Persis M. Karim)