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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Calle Encarnación Rosas; Each Day, Each Night, I Dream I Dream in Spanish

By: Tara Mesalik MacMahon

Calle Encarnación Rosas

My mother was my mother,

but Abuelita was my mom.

In the entrance, Princesa: bowls of ripe mangos and piñas,

do not be afraid.

The church on Calle Encarnación Rosas

rained avocado pears on Sundays.

It is a world, Princesa: filled with hummingbirds and mariposas,

our faith needs no roof.

How far could he roam, Abuelita?—

my always-sometimes brother.

Look above you, Princesa: estrella after estrella after estrella,

all the lost fathers.

Should we ask the river, Abuelita,

has Papa found his September farm?

Slide down from mis hombros, Princesa,

we’ll go and meet your brother.

On Dia de Los Muertos, Abuelita and I

climb barefoot up the mountain.

We’ll offer sweet cakes and limonada, Princesa,

as our twilight wings flutter.

Each Day, Each Night, I Dream I Dream in Spanish

Cada dia

someone-somewhere, dishonors language

not English. Even prophets at times

confuse their prophecies for lost moons.

Abuelita, could I night-scale a mountain

even without some distant star?

Cada noche

I trace a season of the sun, pale as a

gillnetter’s net. A short life in the tight mesh,

or once, maybe, a table of closest friends?

Will I only remember what I regret?—

all the petty delineations we grasp.

Sueño yo sueño

in and out of wakefulness, watchfulness.

Minutes cross into hours crisscrossing

tiny lights. But are these thoughts in the mind

or words in the mind or a translation of empty?

My lonely rowboat, is the sky singing?

En Español,

I see Abuelita, find her in my dreams. Not just a vision,

but flight and psalm. We shoot pool drink beers,

shoot beers drink pool. And when to Earth, we return

to the forgiven. We roll our scars and our Rs—

remind them of our truths, these inadequate truths.


A graduate of Pomona College and Harvard University, Tara Mesalik MacMahon is an emerging poet working on her first collection, "Barefoot Up the Mountain.” Her poems appear or are forthcoming in NIMROD INTERNATIONAL, RED HEN PRESS’s "New Moons” Anthology, COLD MOUNTAIN REVIEW, DOGWOOD, DUENDE, PASSAGER, among others. Honors include: Finalist for the 2019 Dogwood Poetry Prize, NIMROD’s 2019 Francine Ringold Award for New Writers and the 2017 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award. Spanish appears frequently in Tara’s poems as she spent a considerable amount of her life with family in Los Angeles and Mexico where she became a bilingual speaker and writer. She even dreams in Spanish.Tara resides in the beautiful San Juan Islands with her husband Paul and their rescue dog Hector.


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