Dulce means sweet, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s Dulce runs to sweetness, and to tenderness, even as it explores violence and lust.
Dulce moves from the sweetness of fruit to the fear of the belt (named Daisy, apparently: I didn’t know belts were named). Dulce is poetry of life, and life might be sweet (the way blood is, I guess), but it isn’t kind, and Dulce, for all its tenderness, isn’t kind either. (Some of its imagery is rather shocking, in fact, but always wrapped in loving words.)
Faith and folklore and friendship and lust twine around each other: Dulce inhabits a full and tangled world. It starts with a bird, unraveling, and it ends with a bird singing, and the promise that more words will come, even if we don’t have the right ones now.
It’s a dreamlike chapbook, a tender path through topics that range from difficult to intensely personal—sweet, like its title, even when its topics are anything but.