Watching Robbie Knievel Jump the Grand Canyon, 1999

Ariel Francisco

My mom’s first birthday

post-divorce: duplex

in the sidewalkless outskirts of Orlando.

One TV for the four of us.

One bathroom for the four of us.

Two bedrooms for the four of us.

The frogs who made a home

of the window AC cheer

the daredevil on. You can make

a home anywhere, I guess.

We watch Robbie Knievel

rev his motorcycle to achieve

what his father could not,

a second generation dream

dressed all in white. We watch

as he angels through the air,

an inverse Icarus for a few

seconds of flight but a crash landing

is still a landing and a home is

a home is a home.


Headshot | Ariel Francisco


ARIEL FRANCISCO is the author of Under Capitalism If Your Head Aches They Just Yank Off Your Head (Flowersong Press, 2022), A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship (Burrow Press, 2020), and All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017), and the translator of Haitian-Dominican poet Jacques Viau Renaud’s Poet of One Island (Get Fresh Books, 2023) and Guatemalan poet Hael Lopez’s Routines/Goodbyes (Spuyten Duyvil, 2022). A poet and translator born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents and raised in Miami, his work has been published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The New York City Ballet, Latino Book Review, and elsewhere. He is an Assistant Professor of Poetry and Hispanic Studies at Louisiana State University.