We are sleepwalkers,
deeply dreaming
a world of blues, golds, purples.
Lovers whirl overhead
like a Chagall mural.

We try reaching for them;
but they are always
just beyond our grasp.

Afraid of waking;
we cling to these slivers of time.
Our hunger,
and our self-deception
is immense.

we are dutiful.

We live under the bright sun
of obligation,
in a parched landscape
of good deeds.

We persevere.

We were bred for that;
waiting always for the night,
when life begins.

(From the Book Raw Silk Suture by Lisa Alvarado, copyright , 2008)

Lisa Alvarado is a poet, performer, and installation artist, focusing on identity, spirit, and the body. She is the founder of La Onda Negra Press, and is author of Reclamo and The Housekeeper’s Diary, originally a book of poetry and now a one-woman performance, and is the recipient of grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs, The NEA, and the Ragdale Foundation. Lisa has also completed an ambitious trilogy of performance pieces, REM/Memory, Bury The Bones and Resurgam, whose themes are the culture of violence, popular culture and personal redemption.

Her first novel, Sister Chicas (written with Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane Alberdeston) was bought by Penguin/NAL, and released in April 2006. Sister Chicas is a coming of age story concerning the lives of three young Latinas living in Chicago. Sister Chicas won 2nd place Best First Novel in English (Latino Literacy Now/2007) Her book of poetry, Raw Silk Suture, is the newest release by Floricanto Press, and was reviewed by Rigoberto Gonzalez.