Featured Poet: Leslie Contreras Schwartz


Featured Poet: Leslie Contreras Schwartz


Leslie Contreras Schwartz teaches writing workshops in poetry and personal essay at Inprint Houston and Writespace. Her poetry has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Southern Women’s ReviewStoryscape Literary JournalImprobable Worlds: An Anthology of Texas and Louisiana Poets by Mutabilis Press, and is forthcoming in Fuego2Tinderbox Literary Journaland Glass: A Journal of Poetry. Her personal essays have appeared in the Huffington Post,Houston Chronicle, The Toast, Ozy, and Dame Magazine.

Her first collection of poems, Fuego, was published by Saint Julian Press in March 2016. She holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College and a BA in English from Rice University, where she won the Academy of American Poets’ College & University Prize in 2001.


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Cosmology, published on Storyscape Literary Journal
Leslie Contreras Schwartz
Let her tunnel
through the world
like God, bare-faced,

burrowing through
the heated earth
steamed with suffocations

of pebbles and decay.
Eyes glistening,
wet with tiny failures

reflected, which make whole
mountains that break
and shift under her girl feet.

God, the girl, girl the God,
falling to the same knees
where no one is there to listen.

O, your blessed fall
in your overgrown garden,
wild with imagination in leaflife,

heavy with bodies
that sweat tears and birth
fruit that die quickly.

The more impotent you are,
the more the garden grows.
Until the girl-grown-a-woman

inside her pulls your fruit
inside her too, holy deflowering Eve,
folds you away into

her fat delicious flesh.
My girl now squatting
in the grass, God in a sundress,

showing her sister what moves
in the earth, the fruit
solid inside her, orbiting.

now, little pin-
prick of light,

thunder clap and lightning
that she now carries, little
nest of celestial bodies.


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