Rich Villar is the author of COMPREHENDING FOREVER (Willow Books, 2014). He has been quoted on Latino literature and culture by both The New York Times and the Daily News, and his poetry and essays have appeared in such journals as Black Renaissance Noire, Hanging Loose, and Union Station. His poem, “Conversations with Julia,” for our fantasy theme, is an imagined conversation between the poet and Julia de Burgos.
Conversation with Julia
You colored the air green with the rain in my hair,
drew blue dancers beneath each puff of steam.
¿y dices que no eres poeta?
Do you know poets who sell insurance policies?
los poetas mueren joven con los vendedores. piensalo bien.
Did it hurt when they cut your legs off?
hacen años me cortáron las piernas.
ten cuida’o que no te hagan igual.
Did you mean to reference bochinche
when you held the torch to your effigy?
cuéntame otra vez de los flamboyanes
que tus ojos no han visto.
Julia, you will not be dead until they elect
the Puerto Rican President of the United States.
viviré cuando eligen
un presidente puertorriqueño de puerto rico.
How do you write a love poem?
dime del colibrí volando al lado de tú papa.
How do undress a woman?
comprale su vestida verde.
Is this the street you died on, Julia?
yo nací en las bocas de tus hermanas,
en las tumbas de los dictadores.
All rights reserved by Rich Villar