National Poetry Month Day 22: Diego Báez

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American Marine

It’s not a minivan’s bumper sticker
advertising Semper Fi, not the neighbor boy,
or your nephew, tu sobrino, not that former classmate,
the poor kid with something to prove,
this radiating bruise, these fields of green,
the browns and blacks, such multitudes of white.

But it shall prove forever faithful,
this unflagging azure, yours and mine,
bound as we are to this shameless,
star-spangled cerulean, this fast bruto,
these young men, their midnight commerce,
a steely, certain sheen to their bright sacrifice,
this acidic sapphire, this oceanic empire,
this bleeding stump, this cyanide.


Diego Báez is a CantoMundo fellow. In 2018, he completed a residency at Sundress Academy for the Arts, where he finished the manuscript for his first full-length collection of poetry. His poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in Granta, The Acentos Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He lives in Chicago and teaches at the City Colleges. More from this author →