“For K” by Darren Donate

For K

By Darren Donate


The great lone Spanish words, like a Castilian ship
come into full view when the air is still.

Words in their casual proximity
embody life when you are fixing the coffee,
raking the leaves, picking your nose
and they laugh and you say “te amo.”

“Te amo.” 
sometimes a statement of fact
to retain some cherished, nearly-forgotten impression.
No different than clearing the driveway
or shaping your eyebrow—it is maintenance.

And yet it vaguely feels O.K., maybe even great
to let the words slip out of your mouth between red
stained kisses, oh that’s the feeling—that’s why.

The lights have gone out but the words are still awake,
left behind in an early morning dream,
waiting to be given shape
by someone lucky enough to be told, “te amo.”



Darren Donate is an MFA candidate at the University of New Mexico, while also working as an English teacher and welder. His work represents Zacatecan life and peoples, depicting the dual struggles of migration and marginalization. Darren’s work has appeared and is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Portland Review, Yemassee and others. He is the current poetry editor of the Blue Mesa Review.