"In this rhapsodic series of poems, Rios presents the story of Ventura and Clemente Rios, a married couple living near the United States-Mexico border. . . . Rios's project is] indebted to magic realism but rooted in naturalism."--The New Yorker
"Rios creates the feeling of enchanted or intimate lore within a family and] evokes the mysterious and unexpected forces that dwell inside the familiar."--The Washington Post
Now in paperback, and following the success of his National Book Award nomination, Alberto Rios' new book is filled with magic, marvel, and emotional truth. Set along the elusive southern border, his poems trace the lives and loves of an elderly couple through their childhood and courtship to marriage, maturity, old age, and death. Like the best of storytellers, Rios charms his readers, making us care deeply--even love--these people we read.
From "The Chair She Sits In"
I've heard this thing where, when someone dies,
People close up all the holes around the house-
The keyholes, the chimney, the windows,
Even the mouths of the animals, the dogs and the pigs.
It's so the soul won't be confused, or tempted . . .
Alberto Rios, the poet laureate of Arizona, teaches at Arizona State University. He is the author of eight books of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.