Letter

Andrés Cerpa

If anything, I'm a petty thief in a world of forgetting, a blade in an elm,a bottled note in the sea of Victory Boulevard at dusk.Friends, family, gallows saints & ghosts, rig a swing at the edge of the shorewhen I'm gone for the birds to perch & the bats to glide through,to disappear & appear in the small places the moon cannot touch.Thank you for the amorous & discontented beauty you saved for me here,though most days, my silence was a soldier's slogged handhiding a match. I love you. I leave you the match.

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Andrés Cerpa is the author of Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy (2019), and The Vault (2021) from Alice James Books. A recipient of fellowships from the McDowell Colony and Canto Mundo, his poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, The Kenyon Review, The BreakBeat Poets Vol 4: LatiNext, Puerto Rico en mi corazón, The Offing, The Rumpus, Frontier Poetry, West Branch + elsewhere.

“To read [Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy] is to step into Cerpa’s mind — to enter a ransacked world, bleak yet beautiful."
The Harvard Crimson

“This brilliant book tells a hell-forged truth with angelic music, making devastating beauty from the elemental and agonized relation between father and son—at once a war and a loss and a tether, a home. Through the cruel truth there is love; even in the deepest pit there’s light. This nocturnal-hearted poet’s not likely looking for it but there it is, still falling all over his burning, metallic, ruinous discoveries. There it is: love and brutality mixed together in epic scenes. No judgment, no transcendence—no way out of the mire. Cerpa’s is a magnificent talent—a yawp made for this very moment, and a voice for the ages.”
—Brenda Shaughnessy

“The poetry of Andrés Cerpa gives startling dimension to the most profound experiences of human sadness; his words come from the ache of longing for what has been taken away or denied by loss and love. A remarkable and poignant debut that illuminates the dark rooms we all inhabit in our search for solace, beauty, or saving grace.”
—Rigoberto González

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