OCTAVIO PAZ TELLS THE TEJANO ABOUT NO ONE

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 has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, New England Review, Southeast Review, Bennington 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.

Revolution

Changes Review

Ariel Yelen

Three Poems

Changes Review

Cynthia Cruz

This Body Its Charges

Changes Review

Carolyn Ferrucci