Mariano Zaro









– You are on the other side.

– No, estás en el otro lado.


A blind river without name,

un río ciego, sin nombre,

flows with outstretched arms

like a somnambulist,

como un sonámbulo.


When the river finds an edge

it becomes waterfall,

underground current,

corriente subterránea,

it becomes clouds.


La lluvia derrite los contornos.

North and South. Norte y Sur.






She hides

covered by


bamboo leaves,

takes her bracelet

made of plastic beads.


Syllables drop from her fingertips.


We don’t understand

but pick up all the letters.

We keep them


and wait

until she comes back

to tell us the future.






I lost my language.

Mist erased

the winter gardens.



I thought you said.


It was the wind.

Then, silence

with its pain

and its glory.












Mariano Zaro is the author of four bilingual books of poetry: Where From/Desde Donde, Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosión, The House of Mae Rim/La casa de Mae Rim and Tres letras/Three Letters (with Alicia Vogl Sáenz).

Zaro’s poems have been published in the anthologies Monster Verse (Penguin Random House), Wide Awake (Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA), The Coiled Serpent (Tía Chucha Press, San Fernando, CA), Angle of Reflection (Arctos Press, CA) and in several magazines in Spain, Mexico and the United States.
His translations include Poemas de las Misiones de California by Philomene Long, Buda en llamas by Tony Barnstone and, in collaboration with Estíbaliz Espinosa and Amaia Gabantxo, Cómo escribir una canción de amor by Sholeh Wolpé.

Zaro’s short stories have appeared in The Portland Review, Pinyon, Baltimore Review, The Louisville Review, Slippery Elm and Magnapoets. He is the winner of the 2004 Roanoke Review short fiction prize.

Since 2010, he has been hosting a series of video-interviews with prominent American poets as part of the literary project Poetry.LA. (www.Poetry.LA). Since 2016, he has served as a trustee of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center (Venice, CA).

Mariano Zaro earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Granada (Spain) and a Master’s in Literature from the University of Zaragoza (Spain). He teaches Spanish for heritage speakers at Rio Hondo Community College (Whittier, California).

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