Saludos to the Moon

Jose Hernandez Diaz

Sometimes I wish my Spanish were better,Like to the point where I could speak it withoutHaving to think about it. I can get by, trust me,But it’s broken. Like that trendy restaurant downtown:Broken Spanish. It would be nice to write poems in SpanishOr even a mix of both languages. But my instinct, it seems,Is to lean on the language I have mastered. For now, at least,I can throw in a word, here and there, like tesoro.Language es un tesoro. The moon, tesoro. Leaves: tesoro.My computer always marks Spanish words as misspelled.I want to say, todo bien. Hasta la última palabra.In my neighborhood or barrio, it is mostly Mexican orMexican-American. Five gangs in the neighborhood.I’ve never had a problem. There are also many hardworking,Blue-collar factory workers. No pretention. Grit. Muchas ganas.Many have served or serve in the military, and even thoughI’m very liberal, I don’t judge them because honestly,If I hadn’t found writing in high school, I probablyWould’ve served, too, without many other options.I never know how to end a poem, especially a poemThat I didn’t expect to write, but I will go back to some moreSpanish words: adiós. Adiós to the sun and the skyline,Tonight. Saludos. Saludos to the moon with her accent so bright.

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Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. His work appears in The American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Huizache, Iowa Review, The Nation, Poetry, Southeast Review, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is the author of a collection of prose poems: The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020). Currently, he is a Guest Editor for Frontier and Palette Poetry.

Summer 2020

Fort Collins, Colorado

The Center for Literary Publishing
Colorado State University

Director & Editor in Chief
Stephanie G’Schwind

Poetry Editors
Donald Revell
Sasha Steensen
Camille T. Dungy
Matthew Cooperman

Associate Poetry Editor
Felicia Zamora

Launched in 1956 (with the first issue featuring work by Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, E. E. Cummings, Henry Miller, Bertolt Brecht, and Mark van Doren), Colorado Review is a national literary journal featuring contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews. Each issue is approximately 200 pages. Published three times a year, CR has a circulation of approximately 1,100, is carried by university and public libraries across the country, and is distributed by Kent News to independent bookstores. The journal receives over 9,000 manuscript submissions each academic year.

Colorado Review is committed to the publication of contemporary creative writing. We are equally interested in work by both new and established writers. CR does not publish genre fiction, nor do we subscribe to a particular literary philosophy or school of poetry or fiction.

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