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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 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.