As a child, I learned to see
through fog in a coastal manner. 
Much as harvest and love become 

a single act for fishermen.   A skill I retained
after the Pacific and I parted ways.
As a child, I took for granted the white shades

on cold froth waves which accompanied
my morning walks to school.   Mornings raced
by surfers ready to wrestle Pacífico.

Post migration teenage landlocked years
were color riots without glow;
Life uneased without ocean dark wine.

The sun gleams a different kind
of orange over the Pacific. 
I proved this recently.

Pebbles pulleyed back and forth surrounding
my feet in Lima.  My sister and I, in a citrine embrace,
looked to the right side of the ocean as the blaze set away.

Cool salt scented clouds danced the wind of the Oregon coast.
Gorged seagulls far north barely sing, but here a poet and I
discussed how far I am from Perú. I told her: Here I look left

Alonso Llerena is a Peruvian poet, visual artist, educator, and MFA candidate at the Bard: Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. His current work, which merges interpretations of historical events and personal history, documents and honors the victims of the Internal Armed Conflict that fractured Peru from 1980 through the year 2000. He is a Tin House alumnus and has received fellowships from The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and Brooklyn Poets. His poetry has appeared in Cream City Review, The Acentos Review, Magma Poetry, Temporales, ctrl+v journal, and elsewhere.


Photography by: Giancarlo Revolledo

Poema de Playa

by Alonso Llerena

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