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Tide by Christina Vega-Westhoff

of less necessity than in other places
abandoned, the canon ship
the sound some soft repetition
it was high tide and then low tide
and then in between tide, when
we came down the road
passing the river once more fully
connected and before then when less
and the estuary, the man with head
bowed between knees so softly noticing us
as to give us hardly a glance
if the friend had written full
exposition or I had answered
it is a difficult affair having knowing
tore/tone always on a computer different
if exhausted and brief or merely sharp-witted
the man took to his back in the ocean
the ocean approached
overhead from the dune the little
waterfalls of sand. here we are
miraculously at the intersection
where the men boat in to store
their wooden boats and engines at the estuary

we have designed a compass
for measuring past time

precious awakening.
lately as if a backlash against the
word—commissary—comisión, la preciosa
naturaleza, la preciosura de la
niñez o el exotique get away or
the bottledrum—or for us perhaps—
paper wrapped chocolate with the white
& green sticker.

images of a leaf’s decay. here
one sprouting a hole. there a field already
bespeckled. the first hooded sweatshirt
fisherman right here passing by.

About the Poet

Christina Vega-Westhoff 500x500
Christina Vega-Westhoff is a poet, translator, aerialist, and teaching artist. She is the author of Suelo Tide Cement, which won the 2017 Nightboat Prize for Poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Experimental Writing, Emergency Index, Jacket2, and Words Without Borders.

She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Arizona and a BA in English and Latin American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She choreographs and performs interdisciplinary works independently and for festivals and theatre, dance, and circus companies.

Nina has taught writing in both English and Spanish through Centro de Estudios y Acción Social Panameño, University of Arizona, University of Arizona Poetry Center, Tucson Pima Arts Council, Arts for Learning Western New York, Geneseo Migrant Center, and Just Buffalo Literary Center, where she currently works as Writing Center Coordinator. As an aerialist and choreographer, she has been involved in performances across Western New York and teaches aerial dance at The Bird’s Nest Circus Arts.oem in her debut full-length collection Little Apartment published this month by Fair Isle Publishing.

Related Event

    • Christina Vega-Westhoff will join poet Fred Moten (who will perform with critically-acclaimed double bassist Brandon Lopez), along with an installation of work by artist Bree Gilliam at the next Just Buffalo Literary Center Silo City Reading Series event from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 at Silo City (Marine A), 85 Silo City Row in Buffalo. Doors at 7:00 p.m. Reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Books of the featured poets are available for purchase from Fitz Books online and at the event.

The Poem of the Week feature is curated by literary legacy awardee R.D. Pohl.