Rodney Gomez

Rodney Gomez is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and the proud son of migrant farmworker parents. His first full-length collection, Citizens of the Mausoleum, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications. His chapbooks include Mouth Filled with Night (Northwestern University Press), Spine (Newfound), and A Short Tablature of Loss (Seven Kitchens Press). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, Rattle, Blackbird, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, Barrow Street, Diode, Puerto del Sol, and other journals. His honors include the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize, the RHINO Editors’ Prize, the Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, the Rane Arroyo Prize, and residencies from BOAAT Press and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. He earned a BA from Yale and an MFA from the University of Texas Pan American. He works at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.





It takes a thousand wolves

two weeks

to break

every lamp post

in this city.

Five minutes

for a presidential




The greatest disaster

is how the blight

in someone’s head

can so easily become

the anthem

in everyone else’s.



If you want an answer

ask the trigger

not the target.



Suddenly tornado.

And every boy thinks,

when I maim,

I won’t maim

so badly.



The light bulb,


from shooting,


release me.



As a child, Easter eggs

in guajillo

reminded me of peacocks.

Today I see refugees

in fire.



How do you beat

the other

out of someone?

Praise the barb

of them.

Place a blade

in their throat.



There is always time

for crying.

There is also time

to annihilate.

Someone else

believes this, too.



I will follow you

to the end.

(If it means you founder




For years a fist

has been pounding

on the door.

Today, it found a way

to get inside

without using

the threshold.



It’s not useless

to speak to the dead

if the living

have forgotten

how to listen.



One way to kill a wall

is to question

why it doesn’t go on




Some bruises

not even sage

can phantom.



Speak, and the hatchlings

won’t be filled

with nothing.



Outside, the grackles

are still stealing food

from the parrots.

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