What Comes Back

Javier Peñalosa M., translated by Robin Myers

Forthcoming April 2024

Javier Peñalosa M.’s What Comes Back is a procession, a journey, a search for a body of water that has disappeared. Featured in separate sections, original Spanish poems and Robin Myers’s English translations highlight tender ruminations on loss, memory, and communion. Just as landscapes witness and “preserve what happens along the length of them,” so do people. We watch as travelers navigate realms between the living and the dead, past mountains and dried-up rivers to map, trace, and remember the past and future. Several sections, each bearing the title “What Comes Back,” guide readers on a looping voyage where they are “orbited around the gravity of what had come to be”: the absence of Mexico City’s rivers and other absences wrought by war, climate change, and forced migration. What remains is a desire to name the missing, to wrest belonging from dispossession, endurance from erasure. Rattled between ecological destruction and human violence, the spirit pushes on toward connection and community.

ISBN: 9781556596841

Format: Paperback


They’d wake with the slowness of animals. They’d have touch
and breath, skin in the early mornings. The nape of her neck was
a den of dark threads at first light. And the music would come
from nowhere to find her voice and her body’s soft movement in
the bedroom.

These were the ripe apples we didn’t gather from the ground.

About the Author

Javier Peñalosa M. was born in Mexico City, where he lives. He writes poetry, children’s books, and screenplays. He holds a BA in education and an MFA in creative writing from NYU. The author of the poetry volumes Aviario, Los trenes que partían de mí, Los que regresan, and H, he has received fellowships from the fundación para las letras mexicanas, Mexico’s Young Artists Program (FONCA), and the Immigrant Artist Program from the New York Fund for the Arts. He was awarded the 2009 National …

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About the Translator

Robin Myers is a poet and Spanish-to-English translator. Her latest poetry translations include Copy by Dolores Dorantes (Wave Books), The Dream of Every Cell by Maricela Guerrero (Cardboard House Press), in spite of ourselves by Tatiana Lipkes (John of the Thing), The Science of Departures by Adalber Salas Hernández (Kenning Editions), and Another Life by Daniel Lipara (Eulalia Books). She was double-longlisted for the 2022 National Translation Award in poetry. As a poet, her work has recently been published in The Drift, Poetry London, Denver Quarterly, Yale Review, Guesthouse, and selected for the 2022 Best …

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