July/Aug 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 4 Poetry |

Let Me Try Again

I could bore you with the sunset, the way water tasted after so many days without it, the trees, the breed of dogs, but I can't say there were forty people when we found the ranch with the thin white man, his dogs, and his shotgun. Until this 5 a.m., I hadn't or couldn't remember there were only five, or seven, people— not forty. We'd separated by the palo verdes. We meaning: an eighteen-year-old ex-gangster, a mom with her thirteen-year-old, and me. Four people. Not forty. The rest … the rest, I don't know. They weren't there when the thin white man let us drink from a hose while pointing his shotgun. In Spanish he told us if run away, dogs trained attack. Water must've felt like water, and my throat like a throat after days without liquids, and the dogs, maybe they could've killed us, who knows, who cares, the farmer is probably dead, a few more years in him, but can't believe he's lasted these seventeen. When La Migra truck arrived,

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Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador, in 1990. At the age of nine he immigrated to the United States. Zamora is a Breadloaf scholarship recipient and holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Narrative, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere.

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Aftermath

By Javier Zamora

I could bore you with the sunset, the way water tasted after so many days without it, the trees, the breed of dogs, but I can't say there were forty […]

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