Águila del desierto

Águila del desierto

October 03, 2022




Águila del desierto

by Daniel Elias Galicia



     so once again he would heave, would struggle to thrust it up, 

     sweat drenching his body, dust swirling above his head.

          - The Odyssey, Book XI: The Kingdom of the Dead

Because he found
     brother, cousin

Because he lost
     home like bones lose
          flesh. Nights, he sits 

in bed, stitches
     his heart with cactus
          spines, the muscle 

thick, leather-bound.
     Somedays he feels
          wind rip pages 

from his book of
     longing, pin them
          to barbed wire. 

Somedays he can't
     go on, lets heat
          blister through him 

like water dumped
     by la migra
          from matte black jugs. 

Because he can't
     go on, he must
          go on. Father 

taught him sun's a
     rattlesnake. Cover your
          neck, mijo, heat's 

venom. Still the
     nation, like the sun,
          flares up, rears back, 


bodies stagger
     to underbrush.
          How to go on 

searching for the
     missing, planting
          white crosses for 

their remains, up-
     and-down sun-stroked
          valleys, knowing 

the desert, like
     a vulture, claims
          the flesh of bones?







Portrait of Daniel Elias Galicia
Daniel Elias Galicia has published poems in Beloit Poetry Journal, Iron Horse Literary Review, Relief: A Journal of Art & Faith, and more. His chapbook Still Desert was a semi-finalist for the 2022 Chad Walsh Chapbook series. He is a Pushcart-nominated poet and recipient of Relief’s Editors’ Choice Award.



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