Javier Zamora


Javier Zamora (1990-present) was born in La Herradura, El Salvador and immigrated to the US when he was nine years old. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA from New York University and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He is the author of the collection Unaccompanied and the chapbook Nueve Años Inmigrantes/ Nine Immigrant Years. He is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and is currently a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. Source


it was clear they were hungry

with their carts empty the clothes inside their empty hands


they were hungry because their hands

were empty their hands in trashcans


the trashcans on the street

the asphalt street on the red dirt the dirt taxpayers pay for


up to that invisible line visible thick white paint

visible booths visible with the fence starting from the booths


booth road booth road booth road office building then the fence

fence fence fence


it started from a corner with an iron pole

always an iron pole at the beginning


those men those women could walk between booths

say hi to white or brown officers no problem


the problem I think were carts belts jackets

we didn’t have any


or maybe not the problem

our skin sunburned all of us spoke Spanish


we didn’t know how they had ended up that way

on that side


we didn’t know how we had ended up here

we didn’t know but we understood why they walk


the opposite direction to buy food on this side

this side we all know is hunger





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Intersectionality & Culture

Literary Devices:


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times