Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera

Selected poem: Thich Nhat Hanh I Step With You

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s numerous poetry collections include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007, and Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008).

Thich Nhat Hanh I Step With You

step breathe
step breathe
—peace flickers at the end of the flame
you sit you speak one word yet the word is impossible
rice brown and eggplant soup green violet
your mind still for peace
decade upon decade bowing speaking lifting the dead
from your shoulders our hands
this is how you walk — one step we walk with you
one step there
a breath as you go as we go

Juan Felipe Herrera, “Thich Nhat Hahn I Step With You”
from Notes on the Assemblage.
Copyright © 2015 by Juan Felipe Herrera.
Reprinted with the permission of City Lights Publishers.