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Poem by Craig Santos Perez

Eyewear is very glad to welcome Craig Santos Perez (pictured) this Friday. He is a native Chamorro from the Pacific Island of Guahån (Guam), and has lived in California since 1995.

He is the co-founder of Achiote Press and author of several chapbooks, including all with ocean views (Overhere Press, 2007) and preterrain (Corollary Press, 2008). His first book, from unincorporated territory, has just been published by Tinfish Press.

His poetry, essays, reviews, and translations have appeared in New American Writing, The Colorado Review, Pleiades, The Denver Quarterly, Jacket, Sentence, and Rain Taxi, among others. He is currently a PhD candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

from descending plumeria
for my cousin, renee


(it's renee, my auntie jeanette cried into the phone) renee. had moved to san francisco after high school to become an artist. (that night) she was a passenger on a motorcycle. at an intersection. a car ran a red light and never stopped the motorcycle fell. on her body we waited. by the phone across. blue eyes of the pacific. (that night) there was an early season storm. we took the usual precautions: boarded the windows. (i don't want the kids to go, my mom said when she returned from my sister marla's room to check on her) unplugged the gas stove, placed towels on the bottom of the doors. (they need to go, my dad insisted, for charlie) and moved the furniture away. from the windows. i don't remember the name. of the typhoon, but it was. mapped and monitored.


During and after the war, the Allies controlled the Marianas, a primary base in the Pacific. The US military shipped equipment and salvaged war material to permanent bases and scrap metal processors on Guam. The first brown tree snakes reached the war torn island as cargo ship stowaways.

Poem by Craig Santos Perez; reprinted from his new collection with permission of the author.
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