Volume Four, Issue 3

Mario Duarte

Mi Canción de Amor

Have we reached the point of shuddering dust settling into original extracts? Will this be the last time to voice grievances? Out fears for ourselves, the country inflames our senses. What muscles ripple in the demoralized after-life of now?

Body of smoke and ash infused light, an emptiness haunts our lives. Where are your Marigolds, their tiny suns? At night, your nipples, like desolate mountain peaks, brush across my teeth and yet I am entrapped by a sense of great loss.

Bedpost shadows darken the floorboards, while chanting cicadas mesmerize the treetops. Your tongue twists leaving me breathless. I pay homage to la pequeña muerte tracking us until it devours us like the hungriest of mad dogs.

Is this our final summer? The smoke of your laughter twists the air. Under the burning sky, mi canción de amor, increasingly I sleep alone. Every day I sing because of you, not in spite of you, but sadness is the period of every line.

Mi Tormenta

Why not spit into the last glints of sunset, dampen the cold fires of the slowly winking stars. In the window screen, the shredded fragments of a fly’s unattached wing wavers in the breeze. Nothing lasts. Even the great storm in the palm of your hand will subside, if closed.

Return to your star, Cristina, the 500-year flood gulps our City of Literature. Staring at my reflection in the windowpane, I rub my throbbing, purple-veined eyelids. I keep seeing you, your hands on the back of your head, arms wide wings soaring beyond us, out of this world.

Lost in Mid-October

Lost in mid-life, and I wonder how many years are left and what disasters await—what pities and sorrows, and undoubtedly surprises—like dark bird dangling in the treetops—almost unseen but clearly heard—their talons scratching under sheer skin.

The morning glories, blue as your eyes, bloom after the nighttime rain yet I wonder how many more nights together, how many more gray, cloud-ridden days, how many more days dousing the fuse of the sun—what awaits the lonely growing lonelier?

Mario Duarte: "I am a Senior Academic Advisor at the University of Iowa and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. My poems and short stories have appeared in aaduna, Chicago Literati, Huizache, Lunch Ticket, Pank, Pilgrimage, RavensPerch, Sky Island Journal, Storyscape, Typishly, and Write Launch."

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