четвер, 8 серпня 2019 р.

Alex Salinas - Three Poems

Alex Z. Salinas lives in San Antonio, Texas. His poetry has been published in the San Antonio Express-News, Shot Glass Journal, The Rye Whiskey Review, Duane's PoeTree, and in the San Antonio Review, where he serves as poetry editor. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as Every Day Fiction, Mystery Tribune, Red Fez, Schlock! Webzine, Nanoism, escarp, 101 Words, and 365tomorrows. 



***
Apparition

She wakes me again
4 a.m. daze
My per diem alarm clock
Today is different
Today she lingers
Today, she speaks
Look at me, she commands
Tell me what you see
I report my findings honestly
Everything, red
Eyes
Hair
Cheeks
Lips
Teeth
Lips
She smirks, then dissolves 
like a blown dandelion 
in the country breeze
I write this down 
and show my friend
Men, she says
You don’t need poetry,
you need help
An intervention 
I’m fine, I say
You just don’t get it,
and you never will
Later, she appears again,
her golden warmth pressing me down 
into my sheets
I look at her, 
look into her 
with crystal-clear eyes
I reach out 
before she can disappear
to touch her
hoping,
something to happen 
  
** 

Winds of obsession

I.

Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard®
winds of obsession blow me
your way. 

I’ve hopped on Interstate 35,
merged dangerously on 410,
sped past wreckage on 281
to get a taste of you.

Yet I deny God every Sunday, 
won’t drive 5 minutes down
Wurzbach for an hour
of spiritual rejuvenation.

Am I a rebel against my faith?
An insurgent against the Pope?
An enemy of the Stone Tablet?

II.

I made peace with you long ago
on Pike’s Peak, remember?
I realized then that everything
looks beautiful from a distance,
that it’s only up close
when the world’s soft corners 
become jagged intersections.

I traverse those sharp cliffs,
skirt along the razor’s edge,
risk my life for the (com)promise
of yet another sweet taste. 

Why?

Because I’m a vessel,
and I’m blown where I’m blown.

III.

At a distance,
far away from sea, 
far from the bronze statue memorial, 
you think you know yourself 
like the words
connecting sentences 
connecting paragraphs.

But look a little closer, 
carefully,
tell me what you see. 

Close your eyes, 
stretch out your weary arms,
tell me what you feel.

Repeat it out loud,
write it down,
carve it into your aching heart.

Carry it like a talisman, 
wear it like a crown jewel,
extract from it like melted ice cream
dripping into your mouth,
this, 
what no one can tell you,

what you’ve known to be true your whole life. 


** 


The Great Thing About South Texas Summers 

The unforgiving heat? 
That’s just hardcore dinosaur B.O.
trapped in the atmosphere cuz remember,
            we’re talking the land before time and deodorant.
The unrelenting heat?
That’s just electrically charged air from
a million drug busts, a million caps
            busted in a million bodies good and evil
on account of everyone loses in war,
            and life is painful,
and drugs make everything go away
            at least for a little while.
The ridiculous heat?
            That’s just jalapeno juice burning your lips
from all those nachos you scarfed down at the Spurs game.
The absurd heat?
That’s just bad breath 
from a hundred generations of mestizo colonial 
madness and mischief,
hot-baked halitosis whose origins 
spawned from a bag of expired imperial chips,
you know, like original Doritos
before they went all crazy with the
flavors and concoctions—remember the puffy 3D ones?—
I digress.
The unbearable heat?
You complain about it  
every single day,
but have you ever tried listening to it?
Inhaling it? Allowing it to settle into your intestines
and clamp down like a Mexican tapeworm 
giving you the business for all those years
you turned your wet back on it,  
badmouthed it 
as though you were one and the same among your  
carpetbagger brothers and sisters?

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