In the Winter

Naomi Ayala

There’s a gulf between me and god.
I fill it with angry fish
whose backs catch the sun.
I call across and listen for the wind,
watch tall snowdrifts
wrap around the cadaver boughs of trees.
When the gulf ices over
I sing out—sometimes to myself,
sometimes to the water beneath the ice.
There is always water waiting to be called back—
a whole world moving beneath ice—
even in my heart
weighed with the tundra of forgetting.

A native of Puerto Rico, Naomi Ayala is the author of two books of poetry, Wild Animals on the Moon and This Side of Early. Her third book of poems will be published by Bilingual Review Press. Her translation of Argentinean poet Luis Alberto Ambroggio’s most recent book of poems The Wind’s Archeology/La arqueología del viento will be published by Vaso Roto Ediciones in Mexico. Naomi lives in Washington, DC where, until recently, she served as the founding Executive Director of 826DC. Distinguishing herself as a poet who writes in both Spanish and English, Naomi’s most recent work in Spanish appears in Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas hispanos de Washington, DC (North American Academy of the Spanish Language, 2010). Naomi is a member of the Board of the Directors of DC Advocates for the Arts.