Alan Chazaro

Post-Apocalyptic Pastoral at Lake Merritt, Oakland


Pretending to be a ghost here is nothing

new, like wandering without love.

There is a boneyard of buildings

inside my throat. I don’t know

how to define exogenous

but it somehow calls my name.

From across the broken lake,

shadow-clouds are growing. Where sky-

towers used to stretch towards the open

ceiling, there is absence like missing

neighbors. How can you unbraid toxicity

from your scalp? What if memory

was never this tangle of nerves

clinging your ribs? The opposite of this

would be skinning a pomegranate with bare

knives, the crush of organic seeds

in your unclenched jaws.

The chewing; the red juices.


Alan Chazaro is the author of This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and the forthcoming Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). He writes a monthly column, “Pocho Boy Meets World”, for Palette Poetry while exploring Latinx voices he discovers while traveling throughout Latin America. His work has recently been published in The Bold Italic, Alien Magazine, and San Francisco Chronicle. Find him on Twitter @alan_chazaro.

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