Javier Zamora

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Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador, in 1990, and he migrated to the United States in 1999. He received a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from New York University. Zamora is the author of Unaccompanied (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, among others. A 2016­–2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he lives in San Rafael, California.

by this poet

                      for my cousin Julia Zetino

The words Notice to Appear flap like a monarch trapped in a puddle.
Translation: ten years in a cell cold enough to be named Hielera.
If not that, a plane with chains
it was clear they were hungry
with their carts empty the clothes inside their empty hands

they were hungry because their hands 
were empty their hands in trashcans

the trashcans on the street
the asphalt street on the red dirt the dirt taxpayers pay for

up to that invisible line visible thick white paint
I could bore you with the sunset, the way water tasted
     after so many days without it, 
                                                     the trees,
the breed of dogs, but I can’t say 
                                                    there were