The Waterfall and the Jungle

Jose Hernandez Diaz

A man fell from a cloud. He had been sleeping on the cloud. It began to rain, and the man slipped off the wet cloud. He fell into a dream. In the dream, the man had wings of jade. He had an eagle’s beak. The man flew inside the dream and stared at the beautiful scenery: a waterfall and a jungle. The man flew close to a stream in the dream. He looked at his bird-like reflection in the water.

Suddenly, the man woke from the dream. He was back at his home in the barrio. He rose and brushed his teeth. He ate cereal. After he showered, he left the house to start his day. He taught painting to inmates at a nearby prison. Today, they would paint a beautiful scenery: a waterfall and a jungle.

An Ekphrastic Response to The Waterfall and the Jungle

Verena Raban
Verena Raban

Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020) and Bad Mexican, Bad American (Acre Books, 2024). He is an editor and educator in Southeast Los Angeles County.