Joal Stein

Bosque de Niebla

on the soft muddy road everything gets softer,
in silence, I am awakening to the soul of this world

                  dark nameless place,
                  I have missed your secrets

                  mist, you enter the night
                  like a stoned old man,
                  what stories from the country have you come to share?

                  la ceiba, make paper from the pulp
                  of my guts,
                  ink from my scorched fingertips

sometimes the only language I know is death,
and when I speak its name I no longer fear.

                   ruda, rue, we line the walls
                   with the shadows of our desires
                   filling the void with our stories

                   hola florecita, let us bathe
                   in the milk of your hunger
                   and plunge in pools of your deep fragrance

                   pixquiac, you startle me
                   with the sharp bend of your elbow,
                   Where will you carry me?

and when we have come to this place,
we bury the stones that mark the path

                         mysteries, by living amongst you
                         as a stranger,
                         what will be revealed to me?

                         bosque, the remarkable miracles of your trees
                         wave to me,
                         and the cruel joke of self-perception smiles back

                         baker, I know your hands
                         were made for love,
                         I have seen how you make living things rise

If I know one thing it is this:
we are only made whole by the things we do for each other.

To us. To you. To us.


Joal Stein is an independent curator, writer and organizer focused on investigating spatial and social power through contemporary culture, working across art, design, architecture, and social engagement. He can be found online at