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The volcano in my grandmother’s Mexican village

smothered the town, though the girl escaped because

the axis of revolution sent her family into exile,

black clouds covering their journey to the north.

The axis of the earth is a skeletal bone extending

from pole to pole, the arm of someone holding on.

The Japanese earthquake shifted the axis of the earth,

moving Japan twelve feet closer to North America,

each day shortened by one second.

When a poet said the past never happens because

it is always present, the other one proclaimed the past

is in the future, the axis bending to allow these words

to skip the water like stones thrown by a boy in

search of his father, the axis of yesterday sinking

the stones the boy hurled across the pond.

from Beautiful WallFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2015
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Poems Ray Gonzalez

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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