Flood Prayer

Juana Adcock

Here, me, myself.My hand, of the five guardiansand a single spillwaysays: You are not needed heresays: Here the stone and the woods are drunkensays: There they cry out for you in the blazing plainssays: There they seek out your jade skirtOur mop of peopleour hands the colour of prickly pearssay: There the wind beaten in nine placessay: There you will bathe, there you will cleansethe one born in your handthe one who lived in your handNot tomorrow. Not the day after tomorrow.Here, now.Loosen your fists and let go of earth trees roots pylonspalm tree highrise slippage bent carsLoosen your fists and drop elevators satellites glass pools clay waves down the inclinethe colours of cortex we never saw belowelectrified saturations dragged dogs waterlogged burnt hairoffshoots of earth tidalpánuco tamesí xigüe guayalejo undone in refugesIt rains, our faces turn into boatsour boots into barro mudslideencharcadasChubasco chabacano parra tecladeando cumbiambadesgarrar alter niesto nunca oscura fuga de

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Juana Adcock is a Mexican-born, Scotland-based, bilingual poet and translator. Her Spanish poetry collection Manca (Fondo Editorial Tierra Adentro, 2014) was named by Reforma’s distinguished critic Sergio González Rodríguez as one of the best poetry books published in 2014. Split is Juana’s first full collection of poems written in English.


"Juana Adcock's Split is one of the most exciting debuts I've ever read. Formally and linguistically innovative, Adcock's poetic dialogues expand the terms of lyric address to interrogate language itself. Here we find both violence and desire at the level of the word, upending the rootedness of power with tremendous skill and captivating authority."
—Sandeep Parmar

"Juana Adcock’s dazzling collection is a lyrical exploration of the intersection between Mexican myths, cultural displacements and language in the context of personal and political interrogations. Split fiercely questions notions of translingualism, the female body and what it means to transcend history and ancestry. Her poetry moves between Mexico, Scotland and beyond, and speaks with an urgency and nuance that is unique in the Latinx poetry world."
—Leo Boix

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