Diego Guerra-Fleitas


Diego Guerra-Fleitas is a graduate student at Dartmouth College studying Comparative Literature. A passionate student and participant of poetry, he only began submitting poetry in late 2019. He is currently based in Hanover, New Hampshire but lives most of the year in Miami, Florida with extended family.


I sing from a cut canoe in psalms
that once were sung by ghosts
within my cracked-kettle ancient bones. 

The sugar cane, it flutes dulcet notes,
A coral so crimson puckers its fingers
to tickle cerulean-breakered boats. 

My oar creaked like an anxious singer
below the salty water, and white
foam flecked my blackened beard with slaver. 

Deep sadness, fathoms of ire and spite
further spurred the splintering hull
on to split seas cyan by dawn’s light. 

The heralding horn of the mourning gull
swept the sand, shook the hulls hungry
for onslaughts of waves and salt. 

Santiago’s soul, slanted and angry,
Paced the deck, swayed to that moan
and burned like an infernal foundry. 

Longing brought low his bones,
Erased the sweet spears of day
prodigally encouraging the reef at hand. 

Francisco’s hand, Santiago’s bent sigh.
“And on your shoulder palms I place,”
He laughed, but saw I was to cry.

“If love for a girl, silken-waisted
and soft to caress plagues you now,
Withdraws your love of life, you’ve wasted 

this our craft, stern to prow.
If anchored by amorous lances you’ve thrown,
Why do you choose now to bow? 

Cheer up, Santiago, you’ve grown.
The world shall languish, long
to prowl the remains of your imminent song.” 

¡Escucha Francisco amigo, if all along
my aim was to cradle close
the ones for whom I long, 

I should, but I’m not morose
for want of friendly waves,
But rather what I’ve lost and never known. 

I must be drunk. I rave
And ramble like a singing mass
Of summer coral, jaded leaves.”



Why Blue Seas

“Bitterness,” she said when on the telephone,
“Shall drain your tinajón of better blessing,
Will spill ancestral sacrifice and waste your gentle self. 

Look, see the high heart of the man,
Pious in escape, graceful as he held the clan
in the cramped cabin of a plane,
Never to see his father again. 

The emerald scar of Camagüey remains to you,
Dear son, lost and anxious flower. 

And the mercy of motherhood,
She who three daughters in foreign earth
tended with care, that they may live, birth
Miracle beds of orchards fresh with orchids. 

Do you now know the clay which gave your life?”
Plumes of bright rain stain my stem. 

Yes, this love for foreign flowers stays;
They are my own, as much as ones
That gird the shores of ancient seas.

©The Acentos Review 2020