Poetry Spotlight #10: Isabel Zapata 2

Poetry Spotlight #10: Isabel Zapata

One of the most enriching, forward-thinking, fastest-growing online creative communities flourishing right now is the Poetry community, especially in those scenes that center on marginalized voices — Women, POC, Neurodivergent, and LGBTQ. Poetry Spotlight is a feature aiming to showcase the work of some of the most talented creators we’ve discovered making waves on the Internet literary circles, inside or outside the mainstream. Our tenth installment is dedicated to the work of Mexican writer Isabel Zapata.


Isabel (Mexico City, 1984) is a poet, essayist, editor, and co-founder of Ediciones AntílopeHer work has been published in Letras Libres, Tierra Adentro, Horizontal, among others. She has recently released the poetry book Las Noches son así on Broken English.






Two rings of fire laced around
a hydrogen green iris
with a pupil at the center: a star thousands of times
bigger than the sun.
Eight-thousand one-hundred and fifty-four light years
transform the empty cosmic dust disorder
of the eye that looks at us
into something mild
a riddle with an answer.





The hourglass nebula
(stamped eye in the universe
print of a dying star

it belongs to the constellation Musca,
which, by being so south of the cosmos,
it was not known by classical civilizations.





Hourglass Nebula, ant nebula,
veiled nebula, horse-headed nebula,
witch-headed nebula, black widow nebula,
cat-eyed nebula, Orion nebula, crab nebula,
boomerang nebula, pillars of creation nebula.





My grandfather had a telescope

way down south of the cosmos.







I was born with your shirt on and with your shirt on
I will rise from the dead.

Why is the word Yes so short?


It should be the longest one
the hardest one
one you just can’t say in an instant.


We could regret it halfway.

I broke you
now I walk barefooted
over the remains.


(Sourced from verses of the book If There Is Something To Desire, by Vera Pavlova)




Her name is an almond



In his nightmare, it’s May of 1994 in Kigali.


Grégoire has been hidden for three weeks: some days ago his neighbors entered
his house delirious, armed with machetes, their clothes bloodied. Among shrieks
of laughter, they raped and killed his daughters. He saw everything from a bush, but couldn’t move.

The years have gone by but the dream repeats itself every night. Every man carries
the shovel with which he’ll dig his own grave.


In your nightmare, you walk slowly underneath an umbrella made out of human


Next to you crawls a man who fails to be. On his head, he carries an old rag with holes
through which pieces of scorched flesh are seen. Behind, a mob of masked men, all of the
same height, sing a hymn in a language that only the devil recognizes.


In my nightmares, it’s always four in the afternoon.


There is always a hospital bed.


In it, it’s always my mother who’s lying down. In my nightmare, her name is
Patricia, her name is an almond that breaks between my teeth.


My mother is still my mother, but she will soon cease to be.


There is only one way to laugh and I have forgotten it.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.