Winter 2024 • Vol. XLVI No. 1 Poetry |

In Cognate

The cognate hides in plain sight little spies everywhere, no sense without them. Legislation of barbarous imperialism in dull black ink the letters remain the same. It is the order of letters that renders meaning. It is the order of letters that renders the mule deer standing in the desert from the excavator clearing the desert. The brain moves somewhere in between English and Spanish. I say English words as if in Spanish. I say Spanish words as if in English. I am looking for slender & curvaceous spies that carry the keys to many houses. Some spies are a perfect mirror that show the body move across a tiled hall. Some spies are a true mirror that show the face refracted, yet whole. The face still recognizable. Some spies are false as the mirror desilvering in the bathroom. Who can understand the cognate except for those who search for the familiar in the shape of the foreigner’s mouth? A boy is hit on the head with the bore of a gun. Out of the boy’s head, up in the ai

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Photo of Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Natalie Scenters-Zapico is most recently the author of Lima :: Limón (Copper Canyon Press, 2019). Winner of a Windham Campbell Prize, she is the author of poems published in The New Republic, Colorado Review, and New England Review, among others.

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En Cognato

By Natalie Scenters-Zapico

The cognate hides in plain sight little spies everywhere, no sense without them. Legislation of barbarous imperialism in dull black ink the letters remain the same. It is the order […]

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