Poetry & Migration

Poetry & Migration #3: Chris Santiago

Chris Santiago — 03/23/2017

As part of “Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration,” the first formalized programming of the Poetry Coalition, Milkweed Editions, Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, and Birds, LLC have partnered to curate a selection of poems on the theme of migration. A new poem will be distributed each Thursday in March and April, online and in Pocket Poem size at several Minneapolis and St. Paul independent bookstores.
Learn more and read all poems in the series»



An immigrant’s son
I have ears like the blind.

Music comes easily;
night frightens me.

Home late from the hospital, she comes to my door—
I fake sleep.

She sings a soothing song
in the language I never learned:

prayers against rain.
Catalog of mythic birds.

As many names for music
as English has for theft.

Using them I invent
a country with only two citizens.

The word I choose for mother
sounds like the one for dream.


Visit Milkweed Books to view our current gallery exhibit, “Opening Tula,” in which Chris Santiago shares the world of Tula, revealing influences and inspiration from the realms of art, music, literature, and food. On display now through April 2017.

Join the conversation and share your favorite poems about migration in the comments below and on social media by using #WeComeFromEverything.

“Tula,” from Tula. Copyright © 2016 by Chris Santiago. Reprinted with the permission of Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis, Minnesota.