What Remains by Claudia Delfina Cardona
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Featuring an introduction by Linda Rivas Vázquez
What Remains is a collection of poems propelled by impulse, desire and an ancestral sense of longing. These poems are experiential; they exist within the dark and splendid catacombs of the body, in dusty moonlit Texas nights, and invite us into their own glittery mythos of what it means to be a young woman falling in and out of love in San Antonio.
What Remains begins with a portrait of a Brown girl growing up in San Antonio: a girl whose "tongue [is] burnt from gas station coffee," and who wears "a name dipped in gold." She invites us to "lay [our] head / on [her] chest and listen," to stir "your margarita / with a chamoy-coated straw", and to play "a guessing game of gunshot / or firework." We settle into the rich and storied landscape of San Antonio just in time to be lunged into a dimension of lust, loving, and longing, "toward someplace too dark for us to see—", only to return to what remains.
excerpt from What Remains:
from the poem "Heaven":
...The sky lit up
with new constellations while
vendors wandered up and down
the park’s perimeter with carts
full of pink pinwheels
and this all felt infinite:
the silence that came
after each bouquet of light,
a guessing game of gunshot
and the dark plum sky
that could swallow me up
Claudia Delfina Cardona is a poet born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She received her B.A. from St. Mary’s University and her MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University. In 2013, she co-founded Chifladazine alongside Laura Valdez, a zine that highlights creative work by Latinas and Latinxs. In 2019, she co-founded Infrarrealista Review, a literary journal for all types of Texan writers, with Linda Rivas Vázquez. Cardona loves music and films as much as she loves poetry. She is an aspiring DJ and cultural critic. Read her poems at claudiadelfinacardona.com.
A special playlist for What Remains, curated by Claudia Delfina Cardona:
Texas Observer - Poet Claudia Delfina Cardona on her Debut Poetry Chapbook
Electric Literature - New Poetry Collections that Highlight the Diversity of Latinx Identity
KTSW 89.9 - Exploring Relationships Through Poetry: Interview with Claudia Delfina Cardona on What Remains
Deep Red Press - 2020 Best Books!
Porter House Review - Chicanismo and Longing: Claudia Delfina Cardona's What Remains