ire'ne lara silva

Ire'ne Lara Silvaire’ne lara silva is the author of four poetry collections, furia, Blood Sugar Canto, CUICACALLI/House of Song, and FirstPoems, two chapbooks, Enduring Azucares and Hibiscus Tacos, and a short story collection, flesh to bone, which won the Premio Aztlán. She and poet Dan Vera are also the co-editors of Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands, a collection of poetry and essays. ire’ne is the recipient of a 2021 Tasajillo Writers Grant, a 2017 NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant, the final Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award, and was the Fiction Finalist for AROHO’s 2013 Gift of Freedom Award. Most recently, ire’ne was awarded the 2021 Texas Institute of Letters Shrake Award for Best Short Nonfiction. ire’ne is currently a Writer at Large for Texas Highways Magazine and is working on a second collection of short stories titled, the light of your body. A new poetry collection, the eaters of flowers, is forthcoming from Saddle Road Press in January 2024. Website:


 Review of in this dream of blue horses:"There are some poets whose language is immediately familiar to me, whose words are like breath, or like the pulse of a heart, and when I read their poems, I feel as if they are living inside me like air or blood. ire'ne lara silva is one of these poets. She is a poet of interstices, the breathing moments in between the words we live. She is the liminal song of water, dissolving boundaries into new possibilities. Her poems are seeds housing streams of roots, leaves, and flowers, waiting to spread through a body like light. To read a volume of her poetry is to grow into the space around you, to feel sound open inside of your body like flowers blooming within a fig, to ripen into a vulnerable moment—to become." --- Dustin Hackfield, Associate Editor

in this dream of blue horses*


there are no roads only undulating land in every direction only

bodies beautiful and blue and lit by the moon only the slight coolness that

night brings after the heat of the day only our sister wind our brother wind

that both blow against us and carry us along


we were not born here but our mothers’ mothers’ mothers called

this land their home the bones of our ancestors do not live in the first few

feet of earth under our hooves but listen close listen close and you can

hear the thundering of their hooves their bones a few feet deeper only a

few feet deeper our mothers’ mothers’ mothers called this their land their

home and the land says oh my long lost long legged children and we the 

long lost long legged children whimper mother mother mother to the earth


in this dream of blue horses we are returned to the land of our an-

cestors we are wild again but then did we ever lose our wildness we were

only waiting and our children born free do not remember captivity they

would call us feral but we were never truly domesticated we only bided our

time none of us had to remember freedom or our stories or the structure

of our families the knowledge was never taken from us we were only pris-

oners to the bit and the bridle and the saddle and the spur but our spirits 

were never anything but free and even then we dreamed and we dreamed

and we ran and we ran


in this dream of blue horses in this dream that is our living our

breathing our being we run as one all our bodies all our hooves all our

hearts all our flared nostrils all the stretch and coil of the meat and muscle

of us made one made a river under the light of the rising moon and the

waning sun this was always our land this was always our freedom this was

always our strength we thunder we thunder we thunder


*Inspired by the following article:


the story we heard at dawn

from their first breath, the wanderers had known their fate. some rebelled and
chose the cliffs, the dark river, the knife. some had families and lived each given
day loving them. some set themselves on the road early, wanting to drink in the
world, gather all its stories.
but for each of them came a morning, a morning before the night could even
begin to blue, that brought the whoo of an owl. they may have cried out. they may
have bowed their heads. they may have wept. they may have danced. when the
sun rose, all their bodies rose in response.
they embraced their loved ones. left their homelands. left every possession
abandoned on the road.
the wanderers came from the east, from the south, from the west, from the north.
some journeyed for days, some journeyed for years. when they met at the
appointed place, they recognized one another. dark, dark their skin. red, red their
hearts. gold, gold their eyes.
touching fingers,they stood shoulder to shoulder. faced the east. with a sigh, their
feet sank into the earth, tendons stretching and rooting. their torsos thinned and
paled. their arms, held up to the sky, greened into the falling arcs of leaves. their
faces, joyous and weary and intent on the sun, became tender golden kernels.
their tears and their laughter streamed down in white tassels.
this is how corn came to be.

the earth of us

for Rosemary Catacalos

“nosotras mismas somos la tierra nueva y lista para sembrar” -Rosemary Catacalos

into the flesh of us
lavender and jasmine
and the stuff of stars

almas mias
this is the work of our lives
the black earth of us
wet with tears and sweat
and the sex of us
composted with our dreams
and our tragedies

sunlight and moonlight
limning the bone
marrow blood flesh skin of us
all our words the knives
for peeling away at
the disordered delicate
dangerous disturbed of us
until light falls unfettered
out of our eyes
the spoken the prayed
the love in the hands of us

seeds breaking open
in the revolving regenerating
rising intensity of us
and the sought for healing
stronger and stronger
streaming out of our chests
in the expanding suns of us

at our end there will be
only one essential story

what we made of the earth of us