June Gloom

Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña

Cover photo by the author

24 pages, 2005



In That Past

They tell me I should praise
heaven, earth, and sea
for all I have been raised
above, and keep my peace
in this quiet kingdom
of coffee, books, and sun,
of salt air, of dreams
keen as the blood that runs
in a rebel giving up,
who knows deep within
that she will never stop
singing her old sin.
To err is only human
and charming when you're young.
Why can't an older woman
be so prettily undone?
And why should I regret
the days you wasted thin
waiting for my fat heart,
which couldn't imagine, then,
this marriage? In that past
I was alive and ripe
with ruses to resist
this ring around my life.

What Happens

What happens when you're spit from an afternoon nap,
and you awake, disheveled, on a pier in Ventura ,
rich in your nakedness, rich in your isolation,
until you meet a man who shits diamonds,
with eyes like two black turds?

And after it all,
would you sue the Santa Ana Winds,
would you spend your last fifty on a loop of red yarn,
or take up heroin for a sleepy decade,
then quit suddenly, after you spy,
plastered on a wobbly billboard,
Tom Cruise's medicinal grin?

Would you shake so much
LA comes tumbling down?


There are words
logged in my knowing,
a bird's tune, yet unsung.

Thoughts like pink shells—
blushing beneath
a veil of sand—
waiting to be
collected in your palms.


Hay palabras
grabadas en mí saber,
canción de pajarito,ún no cantada.

como conchitas rosas
ruborizadas debajo
de un velo de arena—
esperando ser
recogidas en tus manos.

           translated by Lita Anaya