This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features an excerpt from a poem by Lara Mimosa Montes. 

from The Somnambulist

once I paid a sum so handsome
on my face it shone the next day

courtesy of a man whose missing
tooth told me he was thirty-six

ah to be in sync with one’s script ah
to be the author rather than the sordid

stiff actress I touch the swollen skin
left of my right eye I ask Is this grace

is it violence is it black inside like inside
a black plum neither black nor red-violet

Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the PEN Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they are published (no spam, no news, just poems).