Yesenia Montilla


All Barns Are Red Because of Dying Stars


The iron(y) of stars, lonely & on their deathbeds, being responsible
for the color of barns. & how this should be its own kind of table
full of elements that we’ve never been able to fully realize: peace
or (brother)hood. & I am sitting here, trying to remember if I’ve
ever seen a barn any other color but the color of dying things, or
if I would ever want to bask in the slow temperament of a blue
barn with its cool lulling song or a kind of green that reminds me
of a spruce or freshly cut grass. In the dead of night, I imagine
a star whirling its way to earth, weeping as its light goes out. Landing
in a field somewhere in upstate New York or nowhere Idaho,
& becoming a barn, living out its afterlife bloodied & hollow. What a
simple way for such a god to retire, if only all of us could die out
this way, protecting cows, horses—




Yesenia Montilla is a New York City Afro-Latina poet, translator, and educator. Her poetry has appeared in the Chapbook For the Crowns of Your Head, as well as the literary journals 5AM, Adanna, The Wide Shore, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, and others. She received her MFA from Drew University in Poetry and Poetry in Translation and is a 2014 CantoMundo Fellow. Her first collection, The Pink Box, is published by Willow Books and was long listed for the Pen Open Book Award in 2016. She lives in New York City where she’s working on her second collection of poetry. She writes her best poems while her boss is in meetings.




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