Carlos Fidel Espinoza


Carlos Fidel Espinoza lives, & writes along the U.S. Mexico Border. You can read his work in Spry Literary Magazine, Border Senses, Pilgrimage, The Rift, & Chrysalis. While earning his bilingual M.F.A. at the University of Texas at El Paso, Carlos Fidel Espinoza contributed to the editing of Andres Montoya’s posthumous collection of poetry, A Jury of Trees. In addition, Carlos Fidel Espinoza is the editor-in-chief of the Barrio Panther Literatura Magazine.



Bone Marrow Stew for the Dead and Cancerous

I buy femur bones

at three thirty-nine a pound.

And for a few extra bucks, Francis

the butcher will run those femurs through

a ban-saw, cutting and grinding


the cow's leg into thick bone chunks

that he piles into an orange plastic bag.

In the bag, those bones curve

like a spinal column. Bone Marrow Stew isn't hard

to make, just turn up the heat and roast the bones.


"Kind of like chemo,"

my Mama would laugh. Bone

Marrow Stew starts with oil soaked bones

laid out on a greasy baking pan,

and pushed into a four hundred degree oven,


it's the same temperature Sylvia

Plath used to bake her skull. In the oven,

those bones roast

'til the marrow turns

into hot and greasy magma. The stench


of roasting bones can cling like a dirty ghost. 

And it reminds Mama and I that the Gods are lurching nearby.

The first time I made Bone Marrow Stew the stench

drove the neighbors mad, but when they saw


the living skeleton that chemo had cooked out of

my Mama, they shut the fuck up

and the shame in their eyes glistened like the greasy

marrow of each roasted bone.


Bone Marrow Stew is a death row meal

that my Mama and I enjoyed under

the white hot desert sun of El Paso. The

Passage. The humming birds would circle

around us as we ate, they were eager for the nectar,  

radiating in my Mama's veins. The radiation that

gnawed on her bones. At night she'd glow.

A week before she died she told me

that her care givers had treated her like cattle,


measuring her femur and setting the oven. All the while

salivating over the prospect of Bone Marrow Stew.

It's Easy to Lose a Lover in the Desert


Sometimes the desert dries the things we love

into a fine silver dust for the wind to carry


over the vertebrae of the Franklin mountains

and into Juaritos. This happened to my wife once,


when she buried her lover into the ground.

They found him in a field of red chiles


where the maggots were bullish and furious.

My wife never cried for him


not even when she found his heart

in the pico de gallo. Now she won't stop


dreaming that she is the rain. This is not unusual, 

in the desert; we all dream we are rain.


In her dreams, her body soaks the chile field

until her lover's sun bleached bones take root and bloom.


I've lost lovers to the desert, too. But she doesn't care. She's never asked.

On our anniversary, she sends me postcards from Hatch, New Mexico.


Platitudes mostly.





© The Acentos Review 2017