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by Gustavo Hernandez

Despite the times we couldn’t decide

how to answer, we went on.

For instance, that spring, on the road home

from Arizona, when the thundering sky began

to unseat itself and we felt the desert

in California come up and ask us

for a definition.

I’d realized by then we’d never know

how to pin it down, never know

what we needed. I—

at that point—just needed you

to join me in saying that

lovers like us want

to be called, to call each other,

different things:

                              Hunk / Honeycomb

                              Heart / Habitat


Things that can be blurred, if necessary, expanded.

Yuzuko's Christmas Card

by Gustavo Hernandez

The edges I would like for you to gild

in plastic. Holly, heaven and nature

all from a First Street dollar store.

Above, the sad winter sun and my dad,

not yet forty, guiding me

from every sharp thing in the yard,

from fooling with his mother’s canaries,

to his brother. Maybe wondering

from where the instincts of a childless person

come. Just look at him. The uncle.

Despite the loss and the wild untethered

weight of calling the shots to his own

growing up, he offers his big flannelled arms

and joy like a sudden umbel

of butterfly weed. Now the busy street

and its modified mufflers, now

the house and my body and his body

weigh less than a handful of seed.


by Gustavo Hernandez

Useless now to turn to thoughts of winning

the day back. Outside, the dirt gray backwash

against the curbs—how sad it is to brush

away the empties. You and You and you

who may by now be on the other side

of Broadway, I don’t feel like making up

a new apology. Not when this kiss

was unavoidable. Not when this heat

and this man’s words hit like Jupiter-8 chords

and not when a new chord has been known

to bring entire cities back. Think of

blood in the body, of all the new ghosts

lined up at the edge of the sun’s western copper.

The things they’d give to be here now.

Gustavo HernandezHeadshot.JPG

Gustavo Hernandez is the author of the poetry collection Flower Grand First (Moon Tide Press). His poems have been featured in Reed, Acentos Review, Sonora Review and The Slowdown podcast. He was born in Jalisco, Mexico and lives in Santa Ana, California.

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