An excerpt from The Siren World:
I was five when I learned my own blood.
Dad and I fished the lake of cement slabs,
out past yellow grass, our feet jammed in mud.
I pulled the snagged line. Snapped back. The hook stabbed
my thumb, slid past bone, dented the fingernail.
The sun's search for horizon came about
reflecting filament line, a detail
like dad dropping the bucket of caught trout.
Everything halted: the water still cold,
red salmon eggs stuck on our hooks for bait.
He steadied my hand–shaking, uncontrolled.
Father worked the hook. Barbs excavated
through skin ripped. For the tiny hole, I cried,
the blood pooled in our hands I could not guide.
Juan J. Morales is the author the chapbook, The Ransom and Example of Atahualpa, and the collection, Friday and the Year That Followed, winner of the 2005 Rhea Seymour and Gorsline Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared and is forthcoming in Acentos Review, Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Huizache, North Dakota Review, Palabra, Poet Lore, Sugar House Review, Washington Square, Zone 3, and others. He is the Editor/Publisher of Pilgrimage Magazine, a CantoMundo Fellow, and an Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he directs the Creative Writing Program and curates the SoCo Reading Series.