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Colorado River, Lake Havasu, Arizona 2014 by Ansley West Rivers

Issue 98, Fall 2017

Ghost Story


As a boy I pleaded 
with the river to teach me 
its long and winding vowels. 
In exchange I taught it 
swear words, how to play games. 
The night I stayed by its side 
for hours, eight parrots 
came to listen to us speak. 
It was a long time before 
the river asked in a low voice 
if the children of the pueblo 
had finally forgotten La Llorona—
the woman who drowned 
her children in its deep waters.  
Yes, I said. Forgotten. 
It’s hard to lie to a river, 
harder to lie to a river you love.

Jacob Shores-Argüello reads “Ghost Story”


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Jacob Shores-Argüello

Jacob Shores-Argüello is a Costa Rican–American poet and fiction writer. He is the recipient of a Fulbright and the Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Provincetown. His second manuscript, Paraíso, was selected for the inaugural CantoMundo Poetry Prize and will be released in the fall of 2017.