We walked more than a thousand miles to get to the other side of
the Rio Bravo, guided by the Coyote’s howl. We didn’t bathe in the
Instead, we floated like thin paper boats, tanned by the sun.
I don’t remember caressing the surface of any pumice
I stuck my fingers between cottonwood crevices, their
trunks rooted on opposite sides of the river. We were
to eat desert wind; I was ten. When we reached the other
side, we hid behind bushes; quietly, we sank slowly in the
When the Coyotes signaled, we walked, no, we ran and our knees
shed broken pieces of mud. No one drowned in the river; no one had
resuscitated from the mud. Yet we continued to trickle
shards of mud, as if the river had never happen to us.
CLAUDIA D. HERNANDEZ was born and raised in Guatemala. She crossed the Rio Bravo / Rio Grande with her mother and two older sisters when she was ten years old. She’s a photographer, poet, translator, and a bilingual educator residing in Los Angeles. She writes short stories, children’s stories, and poetry in Spanish, English, and sometimes weaves in Poqomchiʼ, an indigenous language of her Mayan heritage. Claudia holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared recently in Texas Poetry Calendar, Third Woman Press, The Acentos Review, Mom Egg Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is the founder of the ongoing project Today's Revolutionary Women of Color.