American Boy



When you dream yourself young
running to adore the sky’s color–
you’re white. Aren’t you?
Instead of yourself, you wonder
where all the blues went.
They’re not in your broken record player.
And you know the needle only
plays songs of crushed bone.

You want to call out
the sky’s real name.
But your tongue has been sanded down
from years of hushing
your own. You convince
yourself you’re a man. You write
it over and over again.
But you can’t shake
the tongueless boy
knowing he will never grasp
how to love himself in color.

Listen to this poem:


About Author

David Campos, a CantoMundo fellow, is the author of Furious Dusk (Notre Dame Press 2015), winner of the Andres Monotya Poetry Prize.  His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Luna Luna, Boxcar, and Queen Mobs Teahouse among many others. He teaches English at Fresno City College and College of the Sequoias. 

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