María Isabel Alvarez was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala and is currently an MFA candidate at Arizona State University. She was awarded first prize in the 2016 Blue Earth Review Flash Fiction Contest and her short stories and poems are published or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Sonora Review, Gulf Coast, Arts & Letters, Storyscape Journal, DIALOGIST, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter: @maria_i_alvarez
I often wonder where lost pearls & sandcastles go.
Do they find new homes across the Atlantic
Stay afloat long enough to land in welcome arms
Or on their journey do they find the things the world has thrown away?
The limbs of fallen aircrafts bones of Syrian children
The bodies of black men unable to breathe …
"What the Oceans Carry" is part of a series of political poems I'm currently working on. Each poem touches on race, gender, politics, and other global issues. I primarily write fiction, but this past year I have felt compelled to use poetry as a way to convey my anxieties about the world. Poetry allows me to question, to ruminate, to say out loud the feelings I so often keep quiet.