“Mustached” by Alejandro Villa Vásquez

There was never such a macho

cow-belted and bigote black as a gun.

His people, his people stalk about

the innocent evening until night

warps safety to a dog’s growl.

The farms, the inclines grow

threatening as a valley’s curve.

Thieves and gunners kiss

two daughters, two wives and a girlfriend:

goodnight, goodnight, sleep with an archangel.

And thrones and dominions descend like voices,

to guard these women, their sons, the pots

of beans and blood sausage.

These men ascend from sotanos

where virgins vault blue crystals

through the echo of shots



“The Sky from This Window”

The sky from this window.

is an unmoving rectangle.

Ephemeral blue and patience white.

My winter coat is my bloated torso.

I want more sky.

I watch my husband bathe his mutty feathers.

Shadows of buildings, pooling.

Why is this roof as far as the eye can see?

Sometimes the big shape has a face.

The dirt is caking all the time.

And sometimes I can see his winter coats through the window

Stale as air

What more could I ask for?

Sometimes the smell crawls through the vent.

What a nice box for perching.

The pigeons are crepuscular.

We’re the mutts of the sky.

Their terrible coos and wings, flapping.

The shape likes to yell at nothing at all.

They’re mocking me.

It bangs on the window when I get close.

What do you think of me?

I think it’s talking to me.


Biographical Note: Alejandro Villa Vásquez is a senior at NYU studying English and Creative Writing. He was born in Medellín, Colombia, and grew up on Long Island. He has bylines in Washington Square News, Latino Book Review, Classism.org, Poetry Society of New York, and elsewhere. He hopes to publish a book of poems someday.