top of page

Cruel Salvation

Julián David Bañuelos

From beneath el agua, la escucho.

Here, I am no different than a minnow.

Prisoner to the light-dark boundary

throbbing like a cloudless sky. A ripple

by your hand touches and turns las sombras.

The afternoon carefully slides itself

over our bodies, devouring dreams

where your sweet scent breaches these cold waters.

The savage smell of fresh chrysanthemums

sits above the surface like a thick fog.

Your hand returns, plumage matching medio-

día and dashes through like a shooting

star. You, my siren, each day all summer

from above the water, me sacabas!


Julián David Bañuelos is a Mexican-American poet and translator from Lubbock, TX. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. You can find his work at

Photo Credit: Emilee Luke, "Fracture Flow"

bottom of page