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“Here in the Electric Dusk”

By Emma Trelles

for Mark + Vig

After winter rains
The hills
Are velvety beasts
We pretend
We have nothing
To worry about
Except for the usual
Minuet of dying
Scraping the corners
We drink the dark
Ardor of sangiovese
As if we were in Italy
Haze of ancient coastal
Walls holding the highway
We thread in silver
Our headless forms
Unafraid of breaking
Open. We are really
Not so far away
In this valley sighing
Green at last it has
Stopped raining the sky
Gets soft when that happens
I feel it in my eyes
Where I swallow
So much I have nothing
To say that is wise
I just sit beside
A persimmon tree
With my loves
Drinking what was
Poured for me
Until the end
Of the day lifted
Her sheet of fire
Cutouts of dimming
Oaks and the mountains
The mountains the
Mountains and us
Calling ourselves


AUTHOR'S NOTE: The title of this poem is taken from the opening phrase of “Heat,” by Denis Johnson.



Listen as Emma Trelles reads"Here in the Electric Dusk".”

Added: Thursday, May 11, 2023  /  Used with permission.
Emma Trelles

Emma Trelles is the 9th Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, California, and a Poet Laureate Fellow at the Academy of American Poets. She’s received writing fellowships and honors from CantoMundo, Letras Latinas, and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she’s the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press), winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, and is completing her second book of poems, Courage & the Clock. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, Chiricú Journal, New England Review, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. She curates the Mission Poetry Series and is the series editor of the Alta California Chapbook Prize, open to Latina/e/o/x writers and published in bilingual editions by Gunpowder Press. Learn more about Emma by visiting her website.

Image Description: Emma Trelles sits beneath a few overhead lights and in front of a wood column carved with triangles. She looks directly at the camera. She has long dark hair and wears square-shaped glasses, thin silver hoops and necklace, and a black turtleneck.

Other poems by this author