Juan Fernando Villagómez


Juan Fernando Villagómez is a writer from Houston, TX. His work is forthcoming in the Cincinnati Review. He is a member of the Macondo community for writers, a recipient of the Crawley Research Grant, and a finalist for the 2021 Keene Prize for Literature. He is currently an MFA student in fiction at the University of Texas in Austin where he lives with his dog, Abba and two cats, Brick and Ghost.

Big Black Pig

All the things my mother couldn’t have
                        I fit into my mouth.    

     Spoon by spoon,
     the beans and corn, her
     father’s death
     the town ignored,
     the homemade
     feasts cooked
     with dented cans of
     meat and greens picked
     up off the curb. 

When I see myself in photographs       
              I wonder what’s inside.

     Forgotten things
     I’ve swallowed up
     And let them work
     inside of me. Running
     thick against my veins
     like water muddied
     by the slippery soil
     my mom got on her shoes
     and dragged into the kitchen.
     A heart coarsened like the second
     skin my brother grew
     of sand and desert heat,
     which he later shed upon the bed we
     shared and scratched me
     while we slept.  

     It’s the thirty pounds
     of dog dad mourns, or
     his brother’s soul
     that ran into
     the woods and climbed
     into a tree, the big, black pig
     I saw a picture of
     while she was still alive,
     before my grandpa
     carved her flesh
     and fed it to his
     children on the road.
     It’s blood just like
     the muddy river
     running fast beneath the surface
     calm. Its slippery bank has
     face imprints where
     children played in mud.
     Their infant fossils
     washed away
     and buried in the sea.










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