The OA’s next issue is a love letter to Southern art! ️✨

Pre-order your copy today or find it on select newsstands starting March 19!

SUBSCRIBE Shop Donate Login

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”


Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Jacob Shores-Argüello

Jacob Shores-Argüello is a Costa Rican American poet and prose writer. His most recent poetry
collection is Paraíso, winner of the CantoMundo Prize. His work appears in the New Yorker and Poetry
, and has been featured by the Academy of American Poets.