Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected a new poem by Peggy Robles-Alvarado for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers. This week we have included a special reading of the poem by the poet.

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At Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass" (2012) (photo by m-bot)

At Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass” (2012) (photo by m-bot)


María de los Ángeles Pineda is dreaming of teeth

half-jaws snapping at her big toe                  pulling the covers

forcing her to feel the cool mountain wind

she has always preferred her city of asphalt                over houses build in mud

thousands of bits of enamel taunting from the kitchen table

chattering in her soup                                    rage boiling over

gripping the noodles                        perfectly forming a floating number 43

the broth                  bitter

María de los Ángeles Pineda is finding teeth in her makeup

pastel yellow blue and pink                        slowly turning brown

like the skin of the young men she never wanted to date in high school

red like                                                 the sidewalks on September 26th when

the rebellious received last rites from a rainstorm

molars hiding in her shoes                               hopping into handbags

incisors teaming up                      dragging 43 blood-soaked book bags into her living room

the bags                        still warm

María de los Ángeles Pineda is reading a dream interpretation book

Teeth: imperishable, able to survive narco-inspired Iguala police bullets,


                                                of an otherwise unrecognizable body

Teeth: indestructible messengers of the dead, resist effects

                                  of gasoline-driven fires and

            Cocula mountain landfill decomposition,

                                   hold treasures of information, make for

                              the best tattletales

Teeth: dirt and ash covered immortal remains of

43 Ayotzinapa Normalistas

doing exactly what they were taught to do

teach dissidence                    call Justicia

                            shift Guerrero into the hands of El Pueblo

obreros            gritando

¡Ya                   me                 cansé!

Teeth: oracles,

telling their story for years to come

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Peggy Robles-Alvarado is a tenured New York City educator, a 2014 BRIO award winner, and CantoMundo Fellow. She is a two-time International Latino Book Award winner and author of Conversations With My Skin and Homenaje A Las Guerreras/Homage to the Warrior Women. Peggy has been featured on HBO Habla Women, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 2014 Voto Latino Power Summit, Poets and Writers Fifth Annual Connecting Cultures Reading, The BADD!ASS Women Festival, as well as other culturally notable venues. She has been published in Letras, by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, The Bronx Memoir Project, Luna Luna Magazine, Upliftt.com, Dealmas.net, and Sofrito For Your Soul. She is continuously creating and supporting literary events through Robleswrites Productions. For more information please visit Robleswrites.com.

Joe Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut poetry book, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named “Best First Book of the Year” by Coldfront...