American Cavewall Sonnet

The fountain clogged with plague frogs and our hair

went unwashed. I said no, because you asked

if prayer worked. A hammer works. A man

is work to a mushroom no matter what

he’s buried with–       I know none of this sounds

like an apology, but bear        with me:

the sunflower field was so dazzling

I missed the funeral. My shirt tucked in.

Here’s a country of statues crushed under

the weight of migrating ladybugs.      If

men could, they would melt other men down to

gold.    Mercy, you said, as if the fire

blew itself out. As if the town’s missing

children woke up in the silo unharmed.


C.T. Salazar is a Latinx poet and librarian from Mississippi. He’s the author of the micro-chapbook This Might Have Meant Fire (Bull City Press), and the Editor-in-Chief of Dirty Paws Poetry Review. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Review, The Cincinnati Review, RHINO, 32 Poems, Foundry, Grist, and Elsewhere.