Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

The Santa Ana Literary Association will be presenting a new poem by a local poet every week this year. This week’s poem is “Santísimo” by Antonia Silva.


By Antonia Silva

late at night    el diablo anda suelto    while I peel 

off my skin    scrape away the layers of self    

va pisando el mismo pavimento    I obsess over    

all the times    I gathered my family    together  

under one roof    recorriendo el barrio    por completo   

all my tías    commune with angels    all my tíos    

tattoo mal de ojos     on their hearts    we are a family 

of old stories and caution tales    

a grandmother in a hurricane of migration    

a grandfather who cracks the creosote code 

I join the coyotes in my neighborhood

                   we howl and scratch our paws 

                                  god’s door. we beg no

                                    forgiveness for the boys we ate

                                      we were hungry then and they were

                                            weak. we are hungry now and crave 

                                 another meat. our words, a graveyard 

                         of trinket bones and locket hearts

               snarl warms our snouts. we bust

down the door and devour this god

we are a family of tradition and travesura    the loudest 

party on the block    where tomato vines creep 

up to heaven’s gate    my tongue is a broken bottle     

a field of agave azul    in a sunflower car     my teeth 

smolder and sharpen    I am reclusive    reckless    

the midnight throat    in full bloom    my angels spin 

the wilted petals into blessings    I step out 

under a wily winter moon    and drink the rivers dry    

I water the yarrow in my yard    with a bucket of tears    

sink into soil and sit so long     I become a desert garden    

a santa ana wind on the solstice of locura

y el diablo    el señor pues   igual

y me la fleto    si es que me lo topo

como quiera    los dos estamos

igual de locos

Note: The italicized words are borrowed song lyrics from “El Diablo Anda Suelto” composed by
Santa Grifa.

Antonia Silva is a queer Mexican-American poet born and raised in Santa Ana, CA. Antonia’s work is published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Rising Phoenix Review and forthcoming in Winter Tangerine. Follow Antonia’s work on Instagram @n0palitx.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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