Flush and Norte

by her large round window near the San Gabriel

my unarmed mother falls off the wind

forced to fly, blushing and now

carried off by water without her tank of oxygen


as she inflates

she remains small


then the San Gabriel exhales


a river of lungs

that same Mexican folklore

has an anvil’s hold on me now


without Pacific Electric or Red Car

downtown ‘scrapers

the vein’s shores should bloom


without the remains of anything broken

that and us

our larger selves


from the large round window a cloudburst

patronas singing to the softening man

aboard the train to nowhere

norte, the pressure of tired muscles

they, a detritus

take from the San Gabriel

it takes from us.


Fernando Pérez is Mexican-American poet from Los Angeles, CA. He attended Long Beach City College and received his BA in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach, before moving to Phoenix, AZ, where he received an MFA in Poetry from Arizona State University. Fernando is currently an assistant professor of writing at Bellevue College in Washington State. His work has appeared in several journals, including The Suburban Review, Hinchas de Poesía, Crab Orchard Review, and the Volta. His first collection of poems is forthcoming from The University of New Mexico Press in the fall of 2017.