My Nobler Self
Alejandro Escudé

A blurred, late afternoon sun, drizzle and fog,
a comfortable feeling inside the heated car
on the rush hour freeway, a side glance
to the grizzled handyman, the woman checking
her phone—but I come back to that sun,
my lowercase i, my urban infinitude,
my garage calculator, my electronic dog snout,
there is the mood of this bric-a-brac year,
the fantasy of identity, the romance of romance,

the terra firma of family, blurred as that sun,
lukewarm as that sun, industrial as that sun,
rainy sidewalks and rust on the crossbeams,
that neutral sun that follows or that seems
to follow between apartments and squat skyscrapers
with glass facades, but no advertising on this
slow day, just the elemental, both hands
on the wheel, unshaken, a blanket I can’t quite feel
then feel lining the inside of my body.

Alejandro Escudé was the winner of the 2012 Sacramento Poetry Center Award. The winning manuscript, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He received a master’s degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis and, among other journals, his poems have appeared in Lilliput Review, as well as in California Quarterly, Main Street Rag, Phoebe, Poet Lore, and Rattle. Originally from Córdoba, Argentina, he lives with his wife and two kids in Los Angeles, California, where he works as an English teacher. In his spare time, Alejandro enjoys birding around the many natural parks in Southern California.