David Alejandro Hernandez


David Alejandro Hernandez is an undocumented writer, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but mainly from Northern California. He holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Washington University in St. Louis, where he was recently made the 2018-2019 Senior Fellow in Poetry. Poems have appeared in the Berkeley Poetry Review, OmniVerse, and forthcoming in Fence.  

He goes by @banausisch on Twitter.

Visual Snow

From where I am I can’t see. From nowhere I could be could I see. As a matter of
fact, there is a reason, but the reason has nothing to do with either eyes or cues. When
a child in Guadalajara, I visited a house where the occupants kept a feather duster
behind a glass case. The house, I can’t imagine as anything but otherwise empty.
What’s composed of earth is often fluid in that manner, we may recall from classical
antiquity. Thales held that all was water, water the sole material substance. For
Heraclitus, this was fire. Both water and fire are demonstrable. Edges of objects are
first to char or soak, edges the flimsiest substrata, of least integrity, minimal
composition. Edges betray an underlying nature straightaway. More pleasant it is to be
a mound.

But that might only convey how it’s sometimes pleasant to be a mound. At least (the
thinking goes) a mound shifts now and then from nude to not, depending on the
attitude with which one engages it. In that way alone, I could be a mound, I might
carry a history of flesh. The prevailing analogy seems to be that I’ve had a penis since
before my infancy, but a penis is not a feature unique to me by any means, no sort of
characteristic by which I, alone, may be known. No mound becomes moat on its own.
Rain, hail, and snow may fall just fine, but when you’re made of feathers, I maintain
not a thing can sink you. And night will never come, but in the promise of the wooded

I had to tap on the glass, to see if I could stir anything, a mote, an afterfeather, in
there—but nothing. Only bare pain in my toes as I stood on the tips. My breath fogged
up the glass, multiplying by wisps the grayscale. When my mother discovered me, the
glass sported many smudges; she glowered. They, of course, the homeowners, I mean,
wouldn’t know, any more than one among you would.

What does it matter who is speaking? It’s not like I can see myself, or that I would
even look in my own direction.

© The Acentos Review 2018