The Promised Land
by Blas Falconer
They disassembled the bed, emptied drawers, and left what they found no longer necessary or
too heavy, or held a memory they’d rather not carry: the small deaths, for example, buried in the yard.
Driving away, they didn’t stop to look, not once, at the city, blinking in the night.
Tired after all these years and hungry for what they couldn’t name, they passed the houses,
glancing at each other, now, with new tenderness.
Gone was the barn with its rotting roof.
Gone the broken lock.
Gone the overgrowth, the rusted carport, the little ways one person can diminish another.
They’d been warned of earthquakes and traffic, but wouldn’t the light be different there?
In the picture, blinds hung lopsided, and a tree stood in the window.
There were oranges among the leaves, some of them bright, large, and ready to eat.
Blas Falconer is the author of two poetry collections, The Foundling Wheel and A Question of Gravity and Light. His awards include an NEA Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange award, and a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant. A poetry editor at the Los Angeles Review, he teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University and in the low-residency MFA at Murray State University. His third full-length poetry collection, Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books), is forthcoming in 2018.
“Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration” is the first public offering of the newly formed Poetry Coalition—twenty-two organizations dedicated to working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and communities, as well as the important contributions poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. Coalition member Letras Latinas at Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies has partnered with the Best American Poetry blog to present ten poems in March that engage with this year’s theme, which borrows a line from U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem, “Borderbus.” The poems in this project were curated by Francisco Aragón & Emma Trelles.