Issue > Poetry
Regina Colonia-Willner

Regina Colonia-Willner

Regina Colonia-Willner was born in Rio de Janeiro, grew up in Paris, and moved to the United States in 1985. She has published four collections of poetry and short stories, including Canção para o Totem (Song for the Totem), which won the Jabuti Prize, Brazil's Pulitzer. Fluent in five languages, Colonia has worked as journalist and served as writer-in-residence at the University of Georgia, Athens. She holds a PhD in neuroscience.

Wild Beauty

You do not need to believe
each one of your thoughts.
Sometimes they slide
as Chagall lovers in the wind.
Yet wild
beauty teaches us.

Did you know that children
grow faster in spring?
That your bones
are twice as tough as granite?
That our left lung
is smaller than the right
because there needs to be room
for the heart?

You do not have to trust
the structure where you live
for its elements
— the roof, the science paper, the flags
fluttering out of your passport upstairs —
may embrace for a time in a place,
but none
might corral the newness of identity.

You can stand tall, though,
on the ground where giraffes feed
from the top of acacia trees
by the waterfall,
where we dance therefore we are,
and we cry therefore we change
in the wild freedom
beyond grasping.