Brother Bullet: Poems

Brother Bullet: Poems

by Casandra Lopez


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Speaking to both a personal and collective loss, in Brother Bullet Casandra López confronts her relationships with violence, grief, guilt, and ultimately, endurance. Revisiting the memory and lasting consequences of her brother’s murder, López traces the course of the bullet—its trajectory, impact, wreckage—in lyrical narrative poems that are haunting and raw with emotion, yet tender and alive in revelations of light.

Drawing on migratory experiences, López transports the reader to the Inland Empire, Baja California, New Mexico, and Arizona to create a frame for memory, filled with imagery, through the cyclical but changing essence of sorrow. This is paralleled with surrounding environments, our sense of belonging—on her family’s porch, or in her grandfather’s orange grove, or in the darkest desert. López’s landscapes are geographical markers and borders, connecting shared experiences and memories.

Brother Bullet tugs and pulls, drawing us into a consciousness—a story—we all bear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816538522
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Series: Sun Tracks Series , #84
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Casandra López is a Chicana, Cahuilla, Luiseño, and Tongva writer raised in Southern California. A CantoMundo Fellow, López is a founding editor of the literary journal, As/Us: A Space for Women of the World and teaches at Northwest Indian College.

Table of Contents

Bullet Breaks

Where Bullet Breaks: San Bernardino 2010 5

10th St Porch: Investigation 7

Father Made Us 9

I Could Have 10

Remember This 11

The Wreckage 12

I Am Sorry for Your Loss 14

Brother and 1: Two Ghost Fish 16

At the House: Evidence 17

Those Who Speak to Trees Remember 19

The Sweet in the Bitter: Inland Empire 20

One Year Memorial 22

Midnight Memorial 2011 24

Flight 25

Bullet Teaches

What Bullet Teaches 29

Open the Door: Eyewitness 31

Dear Brain Bullet 33

The First 48 35

An Unknown 37

What Body Can Bear 39

For Those Who Dream of the Dead 40

Lake Days: San Bernardino Mountains 42

Piñon Man 43

The Darkest of Deserts 45

New Language

A New Language 49

Refugio Beach 51

Your Name: A Diamond Stolen from Our Mouths 52

Where Cement Splits 54

This Distance: Santa Fe 56

Eclipse: Albuquerque 2012 57

Suddenly It Comes And 58

Biological 61

In This Desert 62

Continent of Desire 64


What Remains 69

Someone 70

Sun Receding into Earth 72

Sometimes 74

Mouthed Memory 75

Bone Map 77

Peeled Fruit 79

When I Was a Young Girl 81

Sister Song 84

Second Son, Bright Star 85

4th of July: San Bernardino 2015 86

Some Boys 89

For Those Who Learn to Sew Sorrow 90

Oranges Are Not Indigenous 91

Acknowledgments 93


General readers of poetry

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