art by leigh white
Nydia Rojas’ work has been published, among many other literary magazines, in the Wisconsin Academy Review, International Poetry Review, Revista/ Review Interamericana, Palabra and in the anthologies Between the Heart and the Land: Latina Poets in the Midwest and I didn’t know there were Latinos in Wisconsin. Her work has also appeared in poeticdiversity and Flutter. Most recently her work was published in Open Mic and Verse Wisconsin. She is the author of the chapbook Stealing Daylight.
External Rules of Measuring
Not agreeing on the appropriate measures
to be followed the whole building
as consequence, their vision became
an incline where our futures played.
An incline we surveyed from time
to time while following external rules
Every nail counted, inspected,
its strength tested and corroborated
by on ground inspectors.
The rest- meaning us and whoever else
lacked a hammer to join in the happy hunting
We-- we were told to take several steps back.
Our task would be to measure the air
exhaled by the rising walls.
But those nails, with their round heads
and slender bodies called to us-
especially the ones over two inches long.
They would come so handy to secure
beams and planks of wood-
but the inspectors- that would be them-
as if reading our minds instituted
a counting system. Funny how the story
tipped over its head after days of following
There they were counting their precious
nails, one by one- inspected, codified-
one by one as it to reaffirm their right
to choose the speed at which we should
move- a dial in an invisible clock
only they see.
But those nails- round, slender and strong-
as their intended task require them to be-
kept passing in front of us- first by the handfuls,
then by the barrels.
The planks of wood, the beams…
but that’s another story
marching towards the same ending.