IAP Spotlight: Jhon Sanchez

IAP Spotlight: Jhon Sanchez

“With remorse, I listen to the martyrs
Stories of those who stayed”

Colombian-born poet Jhon Sanchez (IAP ‘12) was recently featured in Bacon and Books for his publication Letting Go: An Anthology of Attempts. To read about his publication and writing process, click here.

For National Poetry Month, NYFA is including a poem by Sanchez, After Leaving Colombia:

Myself has died
The Colombian who was in me
On that day, at the airport with my mother’s hug
To New York, I brought luggage like mummies in the pyramids

Today, I barely write in Spanish
My stomach succumbs to the bombing of rice and beans
With remorse, I listen to the martyrs
Stories of those who stayed

Inert, I hobble to the memory of no one
My phone voice                 a disembodied spirit
Like a child born dead
Whose cries and words never existed

With no pain or suffering
I’m looking forward to my futile survival
A pen shrieks and wails celebrating this burial

Salsa steps remained in that pantry
The forgotten spice that once sparkled acrobatics
Today its exhumation
is a rotten smell

Colombian coffee for breakfast
Like the glass of wine for the return of Elijah
The wind’s whistle dissipates         cold         black         remains of ashes

This story originally appeared in the ConEdison Immigrant Artist Program Newsletter #80. Subscribe to this free monthly e-mail for artist’s features, opportunities and events here.

Image: Jhon Sanchez at the New York Mills Cultural Center.

Amy Aronoff
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