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OCTAVIO PAZ TELLS THE TEJANO ABOUT NO ONE

by Sebastián Hasani Páramo



Paz asks someone in another room,
Who is in there? And someone says,
No one, señor. I am. Nobody is afraid
to exist. Nobody is a mistake.
Nobody is cancelled. Nobody
says anything—an omission from the record.
Silence is always present.
What secret will Nobody whisper,
when silence becomes a song,
when they say blood cannot be heard
between clenched teeth—withdrawing.
Nobody’s shadow contracts &
leaves an echo—finds distance,
hints there’s history there—a fiction
to hide how little Nobody risks,
because Nobody was once a Bad Hombre,
because Nobody didn’t know Bad Hombres
made them a Nobody, or Mala Mujueres,
rightfully said Nobody was too predictable,
too quiet, evasive in the shape of desire.
Don Juan must sing a song—tell a tall one—
tell us why they are SOMEBODY macho
enough to wound the empty form—




Sebastián Hasani Páramo is a CantoMundo Fellow and a former Dobie Paisano Fellow. His work is forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review, Southeast Review, The Cortland Review, Waxwing, Bennington Review, New South, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is the founding editor of The Boiler and Poetry Editor for Deep Vellum. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Austin College in Sherman, Texas.