Ruben Quesada


Ruben Quesada



Girl With Prayer

Girl With Prayer


When I fall      from exhaustion 

      the same dream comes. I am a child turning 

the corner toward home. It is light out but the sun does not shine. It hides 

                 behind a gray canvas of clouds. A familiar crosswalk is to my left 


               toward a convenience store. I’ve been here many times. 

The day is still. Then I hear 


from behind me. So many people scream.

               A twelve-year-old girl has crossed the street

           then she is hit and dragged 

                                              by a runaway car. Her face bruised, 

arms blasted to bone; then my mother helps her off the street 

to the curb. And again, everything is silent;

          slowly the Lord’s Prayer ruptures her split lips

as we forgive those who trespass against us. 


Antilian Landscape

Antilian Landscape


This town has no need for windows

—it never has. What’s best is on windy days

when the smell of Antilles lilies or petrichor 

washes over me like an illusion of a warm summer 

day. I lie and hear the donkeys pass. Beyond 

the amplitude of my outstretched knees 

I imagine a future where clouds fall from the sky 

in the shape of sea side olive trees. In the future 

all planes will fall uncontrollably from above—

clouds of bloodied body parts and then evaporate 

into ash. I am filled with fear. I hear the discordant whip 

of a cattail push oxen forward into the failed hushing

waves of grain brushing the horizon; each coarse head 

whips, pivots like the loose neck of a dead goose. I am 

weightless in thought. My eyes close. I smell a sea rose.





Lost angel 


to earth, perennial 

bulb of fire, man 

eating lion head—bloodied 

blossom billow, 

billow your thistles 

in the wind—

shadow blossom, bloom 

balloon, paint petals 

of flesh as wide as streets, blackened 

paint of ashes 

from my obliterated body 

as smooth as suede painted 

on the wings of stone 

and cobbled sidewalks of cities. 

Every body, 

this body sways,

unfurling in warm wind—

your bulbous body 

like millions of petals 

aflame sparkle 

in my dying eyes. 





Ruben Quesada is the author of Next Extinct Mammal and Exiled from the Throne of Night. He is the publisher of Codex Journal, poetry editor for The Cossack Review, Cobalt Review, and Luna Luna Magazine. He teaches English and creative writing for the performing arts at Eastern Illinois University. Find him on Twitter @rubenquesada.