Alba Cruz-Hacker


How to Seal a Mouth

For Mia  

He won’t change.
Grass has been trimmed
around the four corners
of your stone at least
three hundred times—
that granite slab that backs
a brass vase where
purple carnations,
irises, daisies,
lilies, and roses I’ve brought
have wilted and dried
at intervals—yet he
remains the same:
advancing with heavy steps
in the sliceable air.

Today another woman
sleeps next to him at night. I see
that the same creeping vine
of his control—the one
that wrapped around
and choked you underground—
continues to sprout and now
also travels her lips.  


A Pushcart Prize nominee, Alba Cruz-Hacker received the 2007 UCR Poet Laureate and the 2007 Tomas Rivera Endowment Poetry Selection. Her work has been published in the Caribbean, Canada and the United States, including Poetry Magazine, The Caribbean Writer, Canadian Woman Studies, DMQ Review and Pacific Review, among others, and is anthologized in Bear Flag Republic, edited by Gary Young. She teaches creative writing at the University of California Riverside.


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