Ariel Francisco with Melissa Sauma





Melissa Sauma is a poet and an economist by profession with an MBA in Business Management as well as a degree in creative writing from Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Her book, Luminiscencia, won the 8th Premio Nacional Escritores Noveles from the Cámara Departamental del Libro de Santa Cruz, Bolivia. 

Ariel Francisco is the author of A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship (Burrow Press, 2020) and All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017). A poet and translator born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents and raised in Miami, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, The Brooklyn Rail, The Florida Review, Guernica, The New Yorker and elsewhere. The Miami New Times named him one of the Five Florida Writers to Watch in 2019.

I’ve been myself so many times

today I want to be another

undress myself of myself,


from all the descriptions

conjured by my name,

empty out all the names

that have fallen to me,

that others call me

and that I call myself.


I want to forget

the words I’ve written

the cities I’ve loved

the faces of the departed.

Slowly back away from that house

and walk and walk and walk

until I can’t remember

the street, the address, the backyard trees.


It’s just that I’ve been myself so many times

today I want to be another

or as many others as possible.

So many times

to finally

be the same.    

© The Acentos Review 2019