I Always Carry My Bones

I Always Carry My Bones

by Felicia Zamora
I Always Carry My Bones

I Always Carry My Bones

by Felicia Zamora


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The poems in I Always Carry My Bones tackle the complex ideation of home—the place where horrid and beautiful intertwine and carve a being into existence—for marginalized and migrant peoples. Felicia Zamora explores how familial history echoes inside a person and the ghosts of lineage dwell in a body. Sometimes we haunt. Sometimes we are the haunted. Pierced by an estranged relationship to Mexican culture, the ethereal ache of an unknown father, the weight of racism and poverty in this country, the indentations of abuse, and a mind/physicality affected by doubt, these poems root in the search for belonging—a belonging inside and outside the flesh. This powerful collection is a message of longing for a sanctuary of self, the dwelling of initial energy needed for the collective fight for human rights.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609387761
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Publication date: 04/15/2021
Series: Iowa Poetry Prize
Edition description: 1
Pages: 90
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Felicia Zamora is author of five books of poetry including Body of Render. She is assistant professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati, and associate poetry editor for the Colorado Review. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Read an Excerpt

From “Borderless Wake”

No borders speak me, weave me into being; how
language and failed construct, of imaginary lines in limit;

how the word clavicle releases from jaws & synapses
from our brains, yet the word clavicle fails to be bone, itself,

to never be ridged, raised collagen in grow just below

surface & outside our tongues, our imaginations
let us dwell in land & landscape without arrest. & of borders,

of take & keep, reap & sow: a hand draws over my mouth,

our indigenous mouths, over our immigrant mouths—hand

the smell of wet soil, of iron, the scent of blood.

Table of Contents

In Breach of Etiquette

Homing Anatomy 3

Bodies & Water 4

Devil's Tongue 5

Closer 6

Memory of Sheep Rustling 7

Dear Coyote 8

For Survival of Migration: Or That Which They Cannot Devour 9

Motel 10

Labels & Cadavers & Superimposed Fathers 13

Dear Coyote 15

Any Stretch of Imagination 16

Church Ladies Call about a Christmas Gift 17

Dear Coyote 18

Lunch Money 19

Broken Sconce 20

Visits 21

Dear Coyote 22

Weight of Indentation

Prayer to Consciousness 25

Where We Call to Nest 26

Caught 27

& In the Body Keeping 28

America, Let Us Pause 30

Veins & Ghosts & Other Circulatory Systems 32

The Exercise of Forgiving 33

Invisibly, Yours 34

Six Functions of Bone 35

Stones of Mend 41

Announce 42

Ac the Tortoise Corral, Six Months Sober 43

Negative Compliment: Or Contemplations on Racist Rhetoric Collective Mend 46

Universe Wide 47

Where the Carriage of My Cells Catch

Headspace Prayer 51

Beautiful Fault 52

Bee in the Barn 55

Unlearning 56

On the Legalization of Concentration Camps in America 57

Acts After Addiction 59

Borderless Wake 61

Prayer to the Charcoal Dusk 62

Congruence 65

Upon Never Meeting My Father 66

This Preparation of All Things Autumnal 67

Ingress 69

Prayer of the Palo Verde Beetle 70

Dear Coyote 71

Game Sanctuary 72

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