Henry Mills


Henry Mills was born in DC to a Salvadoran mother and a Jewish-American father. His work has appeared in Origins Journal, The Wandering Song and Border Crossing. He received an MFA in poetry from New York University. 

Cold Blooded

Santa Ana 1985


They say phosphorus

devoured all but her mother’s womb,

that she first opened her eyes—

pupils, like slivered almonds,

peering out from between the burnt ribs.


Very quickly she learned

to scale the tamarind tree.

It seemed she thought herself garrobo,

the way she’d stare over treetops

perhaps seeing what reptiles see:


not the chopper itself,

mosquito-small against Izalco

but its closing distance

registered as a blue more blue

than human eyes perceive.

Nesting Dolls


When Ana returned

she had to roll her mother

off her daughter


and her daughter

off her doll. Years later,

in the jungle,


she showed compañeros

how to stuff animals

with explosives


and sew them shut.

An army truck

would idle—convoy


blocked by the hog

lying in the road,

attracting flies.

Why The Pious Won’t Date Me


I’ve never met God but know my mother has,

for one of his names is Hunger, and He has dull teeth.


When I tell the woman who sits across my lap,

God is as real as the food my mother chewed the day she ate fog,


deals off. I thought you were Jewish, she said.

I thought I had something to work with.


Listen, I was once a child of God, eavesdropping

on the stomach through a thin wall.


He was going on about what He always goes on about.

More. More, He said. And so I ate more through a cord


until the wall, stretched taut around me, gave.

© The Acentos Review 2019