Yaddyra Peralta: Poems


The waters are calmer
than those of the Sea of Galilee,
devoid of disciples fishing in the wings
waiting for another trumped up tumult.

Jesus swims amongst the anemone waving,
the darkened brain coral,
its hardened whorls twisting away
and coming back like some thoughts.
He brushes past the moon jelly,
the comb jelly, floating up
balloon-like and skin-stinging.

As Jesus thinks: I will fear no evil,
a school of yellowtail parrotfish
casts a shadow. Shallow-eyed
each turns to follow the other
little cogs in a machine.

In this sea blue sea
the floor opens up
like an infant mouth toothless,
mute mouth wide and eternal
before its wailing,
and Jesus is just a swimmer here.



Zone cold, flares
ignite and collapse
on the distant shore.
Pom-poms rise
and fall, and there,
sailing the gulf air,
a capsule works
its heaving, bearing
our brown-eyed conquista
and her sedated airs.

Below, the water has flat-lined
and is bereft of mischief.
The man-of-war,
and sea plume,
the squid gone.
The pillar and elkhorn coral
calcified to make a proud
and empty city,
ice-colored and drowsy
like her voice singing
through your instrumentals.



…when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will
dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. -John 21:18

How the cave gapes.         How the cave made it a lifetime.

                   How the cave shaped your howl.

The stratus clouds  now spread overhead 
                                                  diffuse and indifferent.

    The womb is terrifying.  The past a duende perched at your feet, and

in the clearing
                your words coming back like daggers.

                       What is this sub song singing low? And

a mood you are told is tropical?

          	        Your insides are Oooooh, Santo, Santo…

See yourself the old man
                     wordlessly carried. 

Yaddyra Peralta is a poet. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Jai-alai, Abe’s Penny, Tigertail, The New Poet, and Hinchas de Poesia.. In 2013 she was a Visiting Writer at the Betsy Hotel’s Writer’s Room in South Miami Beach, Florida and one of six collaborative Helen M. Salzberg Artists in Residence at Florida Atlantic University’s Jaffe Center for the Book Arts where she completed the book Conversation, Too, along with Tom Virgin, John Dufresne, Kari Snyder, Laura Tan and Michael Hettich.



  1. […] Howd Machan, and Patrick Williams. Interview with J. Michael Lennon. A Conversation Between Poets Yaddyra Peralta and Dave […]

  2. […] Your poems are really good. I liked them a lot. I want to talk about CHRIST STILL SWIMMING to start. Jesus swims through the poem and there’s this tremendous humanizing in that act. I mean, Jesus obviously bathed, but the pervading image is of Jesus’s miracle: walking on the water. That’s a great engine for the poem. Is that where the poem began or was it elsewhere? […]

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