POETRY April 2, 2021

World Music and Arts Festival, Santiago, Chile

— for Ivana

I kicked empty tear gas canisters
through the graffitied streets

to your home, heard their hiss
in the notes you sang into the caustic air.

The city wiped the blood from its face.
After so much running, you still

danced with me, whirling faster than fear
across the park’s trampled grass to crooked

fiddle reels, our boots stomping through dust
until it seemed even the fires

of far-off Caracas were extinguished.
Yes, it’s true, there’s so little we can fix.

So much comes out
                                 torn, but I’ll still play

this broken violin
                                 for you.

David Brunson is an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. His poems and translations have appeared in or are forthcoming from Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, Nashville Review, Copper Nickel, The Literary Review, Los Poetas del 5, and Arc Publications. He is the editor and anthologist of a Spanish-language anthology of Venezuelan migrant poets in Chile titled Una cicatriz donde se escriben despedidas, forthcoming from Libros del Amanecer in Santiago, Chile.