Diana Marie Delgado

The Sea Is Farther Than Thought

In church, the boys have so much

light, plants grow towards them. 

My aunt handed me an organdy

fan and said: Hold this if you’re frightened

or want to lose yourselfthe devil

can dance like a goddamn dream.


There are three things on earth

to point to: the sun, the moon, and

the television. I can locate one of these.

My brother walked into a garage

with a needle taped to a battery

and emerged with his stomach


tattooed. I don’t think I’ll touch a face

like that again. Across the street, wetbacks

sleep five to a room and sweep

and water their dirt, while children send

canoes without oars down the Hudson.

Let me explain western expansion:












Snow unfolded over a wagon train

of nine and nothing without wings survived.

The sea is farther than thought. He answered

the door holding a rag to his neck

and we kissed on the service porch

near a pitbull that’d just won a fight.


Sometimes my father whittles

for my mother in front of a bonfire, the vein

searching his thigh, luminescent. To be

honest, I called because there was snow

in my glove, not because I miss you.

If the original tunnel of the body


is the mouth, I’ve never had one.

As a girl I kept suede horses

and a hairbrush inside a blonde toy-box.

One day my face will refuse to turn away.

Some people like poison.

I kneeled every time I opened it.




“The Sea Is Farther Than Thought” was first published in Indiana Review, Latino & Latina Writers Issue, Summer 2006.