Anser Journal

I wished on my eyelash and my father built my closet with his bare hands

By Tanya Castro

after Tongo Eisen-Martin
I can’t leave my father without thinking about his death and do not know which one of his jokes
I will tell my children. He extends his hand from shoulder to elbow to fingertips and says “I
know death from living.” He extends his other hand and says “Death doesn’t know you yet.”

How different is running from walking?

All seven of the seas come together to end the

An apostrophe represents the missing–

The man on BART
puts his hand too
close to my

“there isn’t anything at the top of the mountain,” he said
and I saw the bottom of the river instead

I ain’t never seen a ladder long enough to reach heaven or a plane flying
real high and then I bought a one way ticket.

Aren’t we all skeletons when we sleep? If my grandfather nods his head
on his bed, what should I tell his daughter. If the muertos are dead then are the
living, alive...

The white boy next to me asks me if I’ve ever seen a gun because if I’m
from Oakland then the question is allowed
“yeah, they say no one was found in the corpse”

My mothers side of the closet empty, the shoulders swallow sympathy for the living. I hate
talking... the palm tree watches me as it suffocates with smoke. Does the rain know it
evaporates? I hope they don’t let me die at my funeral.

Death sleeping... every time I drive through the Bay Bridge, the fog swallows you halfway
there, the mouth opening wide until all you feel is the warmth of the tongue.

The way
a lion prays for a sheep

Tanya Castro is a Guatemalan-American writer from Oakland, California. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California and holds a BA in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Tanya’s work has appeared in The Lit Pub and The Acentos Review.