by Sergio Ortiz
Twenty years among palm trees,
among guitarists playing ardent jungle beats.
To the moon, my wild orchid: Place your hand here, tense
these strings. Tremulous fingers strum, strum, strum.
Dawn stole your cinnamon-guava scent,
filled me, bursting like a rumba.
Put your hand here.
Blown Out Patience
A drunken mime asked for a tennis ball.
Took out a gun, aimed,
fired. Then followed the bullet through the hole,
street, door, steps, stage, and bowed.
Talking to Ron
Ron spent mornings trying out words,
Texture missing in his personal life.
Routines didn’t matter anymore.
It was the touch that was important,
Recognition of strings, fiber and
A cup of coffee. Comrades didn’t understand.
He was tired of their Let’s Sell an Image shit.
His tissues needed embossing.
He was stepping out of suffocating outlines,
Wearing dashiki, braiding his hair again.
He wanted holograms of Marilyn on his lips.
You see, he was honest about his affection.
But what did it get him, a political conscience,
An eye to eye conversation with God?
I said: Ron calm down, it’s just a phase.
And if it isn’t, get a house on the beach, swim,
Breathe in the salt, pick up this trash,
Go back to school, become an embalmer.
You’re not listening, he said, words enter and exit
Surface I haven’t explored. And he showed me out the door.
Sergio Ortiz's work has been published in Origami Condom, Poets Ink Review, POUI The Cave, Flutter, Silenced Press, Cause & Effect, The Cherry Blossom Review, The Linnet's Wing Ink Sweat & Tears, Ascent Aspirations, Cause & Effect, and The Battered Suitcase.