3 Poems by Jacqueline Balderrama



oscuro [ohs-coo-ro] adjective:

And color is the first reason
it seems I must learn Spanish.

Much is left in dark waters after light.
Light warps into water’s quivering patterns.

There are different kinds of desire under this red umbrella,
beneath the slender trees.



rueda [rru-eh-tha] noun (f):

To make pinwheels and paper rosettes, I’m told
to begin with squares and rectangles, pulling

edges into the center. They spin like they have forgotten
this origin of steps. We too forget our feet.



huerta [wear-tah] noun (f):

I could live in this garden.

With fruit trees, with vegetables,
this is a working land.

Think of soup—as a child pulling leaves, berries, grass,
the child stirring a pail for dinner.