She returns
to her birth country
a wife and mother
wearing a skirt
long enough to
hide what is necessary
she hopes
that from somewhere
someone calls out,
“Here! See this?
Isn’t this what you’re searching for?”
she waits
with an unfurled hand
for the appointed
afternoon chubasco
and because today’s rain
carries traces of yesteryear
she wonders whether she
could read the water
in past tense
could she see aslant
in the conditional?
see in the droplets
who and how
the person she now is, was?
observe who she might
have become
had she never left
had she never lost
under her left breast
is a window
come closer
notice the brambles, the wildflowers
and among them roses

“Chubasco” appears in Claudia Castro Luna’s new collection, Cipota Under the Moon (Tia Chucha Press, May 2022). Castro Luna launches the book on Thursday, May 19 at the Seattle Central Library.

Claudia Castro Luna is an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow (2019), WA State Poet Laureate (2018–2021), and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015–2018). Castro Luna’s newest collection of poetry, Cipota Under the Moon, is being published in May 2022 from Tia Chucha Press. She is also the author of One River, A Thousand Voices (Chin Music Press), the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press), and the chapbook This City (Floating Bridge Press). Born in El Salvador, she came to the United States in 1981. Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle on unceded Duwamish lands where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.