What Isn’t There

Angela Narciso Torres

Even without leavesthe Bradford pear keepsits bell silhouette.Above, a commonplace moon,somewhere between halfand full, waxing edgerubbed like the wornridges of a lucky quarter.A sentence partlyerased—brightnessthat might have been.

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Angela Narciso Torres

Angela Narciso Torres is the author of two full length poetry collections, What Happens Is Neither (Four Way Books, 2021) and Blood Orange, winner of the 2013 Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry; and the chapbook, To the Bone (Sundress Publications). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in POETRYMissouri Review, and Poetry Northwest. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and Harvard Graduate School of Education, Angela has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Illinois Arts Council, and Ragdale Foundation. She received First Prize in the Yeats Poetry Prize (W.B. Yeats Society of New York). New City magazine named her one of Chicago’s Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she resides in San Diego. She serves as a senior and reviews editor for RHINO.


“In What Happens Is Neither, Angela Narciso Torres has jimmied the lock to a house of intricate family memory and sumptuous wisdom. These are poems of intense reflection and loss, but also of rediscovery and delight. As the years pass and one becomes overwhelmed by what is remembered and all that has been forgotten, such poems might restore the balance that allows us to live with and beyond that loud clanging in the heart.”
—Tim Seibles

“Nights, listening to Bach, ‘it turned her sadness into something she recognized.’ The grace of these eloquent poems is in precisely such recognition. In images drawn from nature (‘what the body remembers’) and a pitch perfect ear, her lines reach the profound sadness and beauty of human existence, finding speech for what both demands and resists utterance. She writes like the craftsman of her poem whose ‘tools, like locusts, peel the tattered layers / that drift like early snow, the wood’s deep grain exposed.’”
—Eleanor Wilner

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