Thresher Days


The wheat wants an apology,
for taking me this long
to show my wrists
to the thresher boy.

Finally a summer where he asks how my parents are
and my jaw is ready,
stretched open so he can hear about them,

I may look different after,
I will need a new name,
picked by my parents—they’re calling right now
so I can help them write a check out in English.

We take our time
to heave and hug our way
through the harvest season.
And then the stalks towered

and tickled the floorboards of Heaven.
Half-asleep heaveneers
spot my culprit, my ex-thresher boy
and his ginger hair,

a beacon
to anyone that far up
that these farm boys had the audacity
to be wanted.


Oswaldo Vargas is a former farmworker and a 2021 Undocupoets Fellowship recipient. He has been anthologized in Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color and published in Narrative Magazine and Academy of American Poets’ “Poem-A-Day” (among other publications). He lives and dreams in Sacramento, California.

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Thresher Days

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