Sebastián Páramo



Then a cradle. Then the Alamo.
Then the blood. Then there was Tejas.

Then a border in dark clothing.
Then silhouettes. Then the wings of an eagle—a snake in its mouth.

Then the Tejano raises many flags on a pole:
Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas,
The Confederate States, The United States. 

Then someone said—it belongs to no one or everyone.
Then nobody owns this dark line running through my geography.

Then a drawing of the Tejano in El Paso.
Then picture him reclaiming this state—his arm is a wing.

Then Father Texas, Big Tex, says Don’t Mess With Texas.
Then the monuments. Then the siesta.

Then a Father asks about the blood
Then the tourists want happy endings.

Then someone should’ve listened before.
Then someone asked the Tejano to become a son.

Then drinking alone by the fire, he prays for his country.
Then a revolution where the Tejano flew too close.

Then the Tejano leaps from Guadalupe Peak.
Then Father & dawn & blue desire & last feathered breaths.

Then you saw an idiot burn through the sky.

Biographical Statement
Sebastián H. Páramo is the author of the forthcoming collection Portrait of Us Burning (Northwestern University Press/Curbstone Books, 2023). He received his MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. His work has received fellowships and support from the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program at UT-Austin, and CantoMundo. He is the founding editor of The Boiler, Poetry Editor for Deep Vellum, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Austin College in Sherman, Texas.