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  • Natalie De Paz

Cuadrado de Sabzeh

Cuadrado de Sabzeh

Winner of Puerto del Sol's 2017 Poetry Contest

I have your breath tucked in

my head. I want to press

it into the shape of a house

and fable that into a home where

the rugs loll on the floor,

the dominoes clink on the back porch while

the cigars stink up our hair, and

the sumac dusts the rice like earth. We smell

a crispy pig (haram) in the ground. Your

Baba and Maman will eat mahi. We jump

through the blathering flame,


Zardee maan az toh,

sorkhee toh az maan.

My yellow is yours,

your red is mine.

We are loud and verdant and maybe

we have children like our

brothers and sisters.

We laugh at whatever horrors

our mothers are afraid of,

we cry when our fathers tell

us they were young.

Then, we eat

12 grapes counting midnight and

wish for another year like this. Tranquilo,

besándome, you whisper joonam,

and I remember breath forged our home.

Natalie De Paz is a poet and screenwriter of Cuban descent who was born and raised in South Florida. Her work has been published in Tule Review and City Works Journal. She is currently a M.F.A. candidate and Turner fellow in the Creative Writing Program at Stony Brook Southampton.

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