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Another Life


I think I was a professional surfer in another life.
Or a boxer. A pugilist, I should say. A writer is a curse.

I think I was a Jack-in-the-Box jester, popping out of said box.
Maybe I was a wolf howling at the moon, wind, clouds.

Or, I was a ghost. Because other lives don’t exist.
But, what if I was a ballerino in the ‘60s plotting

Against the government? A rebel ballerino—yes!
No, what if I wasn’t anything but a poet and a painter?

What if it rained all summer? Snowed in spring?
How do you end a poem? With words. Precious words.

Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Fellow. He is the author of "The Fire Eater" (Texas Review Press). His work has been published in the American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Crazyhorse, Georgia Review, Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, the Los Angeles Times, LitHub, The Nation, Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Currently, he is an Associate Editor at Frontier Poetry and a Guest Editor at Palette Poetry. He has taught creative writing for Litro Magazine and Sevilla Writers House.<br />

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