The Acentos Review



Qué bueno saber  que estás feliz aunque lejos de nuestra bella islita. (Amparo Rodriguez) 

This distance is yours but I feel it as if my own soles had traveled it. 

I hope my words curled onto these lineless sheets paint a safe road home. 

Home is in this.  Sealed and stamped, the salty hint of saliva a reminder of me.  

You ask me to manufacture images but I am hesitant to send them, 

they show how tired your absence makes me 

I have sewn a white dress 

so that it will stand out in the black and white photo I have sent you. 

You send me postcard pictures, 

they document your path and I travel 

outside these simple wooden walls 

to visit with you and dance.  

When your letters come, my response is immediate. 

In them I etch the words to boleros  

so that you will hear my voice singing, 

so that my lullaby accompanies your exile. 

I mention my dreams, the ones that show your footsteps 

moving away.  You reply, “I will be there soon.”

We Is 

We is not the singular

dotted I, black figure against

a white background. 

We is the crowd

that moves into this

dance of morning

rituals, this waking

to the rooster crow of a city. 

We is the dance

that shakes and rolls

down city streets,

shimmies into markets

for fresh fruit,

salsas against traffic. 

We is the traffic

rushing past the living

and the dead, forgetting

to write our songs

from images and found objects

and breathe each other’s spirits

into Chinese medicine bottles,

so we can heal

the wounds of our entrances

and exits. 

We is the song

of migration, sung

from behind the masks

fragile resin, cast from

faces whose eyes must remain

closed so their pasts

do not pour from them,

so their present does not

burn away home.  

We is home

where we are pieced together,

a collage on sheet metal,

a photograph behind a mask,

an image

that carries us into

conversation, about

holding a conversation about

a crowing rooster

a ritual,


and medicine

to cure what ails you.


Tía Mina Goes to the Beach To Feel Light Again 

In this water’s salty calm I root

myself. In sand, toes sink, surface

then sink again, into this place.

Unsteady rooting at best.  Mute,

the water becomes conduit

carrying its messages to

my knees wrinkled and veined in blue

songs that croon, “let your eyes say more

about what settled in your core,

those wingless birds that never flew.”  

I never did understand flight,

but I knew about following

birds who tested and mastered wings,

used their intuition and sight

to make plans and plot courses right.

They were unrelenting forces

that carried waves of migrants with

them, to cities made up of myth,

cornered possibilities,  breath

that shrunk smiles into specks of dirt. 

Smiles are simple things to store

away in memories, boxed

and forgotten like unmatched socks

under beds, or behind the door

that opens to candles, set on floors

polished with their un-melted wax,

a make-shift dance floor where the facts

are simple lies, told to children

until their wicks are lit, light sent

onto lips, tied tight as rail tracks. 

Took the train here so I could wash

away my loneliness, let birds

fly from my center, become words

others hear and wear on a sash

announcing how I am not ash

but muscle, bone, under this skin

aged by solitude, free of sin

of the flesh and any man’s touch.

Solitude in this sea is such

a smaller load, a lighter thing.


Three Poems

Sami Miranda

Sami Miranda is an educator, poet and visual artist who makes his home in Washington, DC. His work has been published in Full Moon on K St, the Chiron Review, DC Poets Against the War Anthology, and Beltway among others.  He has performed at the Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, The Arts Club of Washington, GALA Theatre, and other venues.  Sami curated the Sabor Sunday reading series in Washington DC, bringing two poets, a trio of musicians and two visual artists into conversation, and is currently working with DC based artists and musicians to create collaborations between the arts. He develops and facilitates interactive poetry workshops for youth and adults and holds a MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars. 

Photo Credit: 

Mignonette Dooley