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September 4, 2017 | Poetry

Two Poems

Mike Soto

Two Poems photo

[The wind of that dream lasted a horizon]

The wind of that dream lasted a horizon
of years in my stomach, leaving a lone tree

bent in the gesture of listening. That’s why
my hand flickered at the dud key of an

accordion in my sleep, why the mood
of that dream took enough steps

into reality, reached the door & arrived at
breakfast, making my fist a bird too heavy

to fly from the table, tipping over a sunlit
glass of water instead. Those broken pieces

on the floor the coins that bought me
a block of ice, for years the gun frozen

at its center had my name engraved
on its handle.


[Aluminum children run holding snakeskins up...]

Aluminum children run holding snakeskins up
to every car that passes, shaking them like sleeves
of  shirts drivers keep leaving behind.

Out of improvised holes, shanties cooked up
with sticks & soda cans, out of roofs that invent
rags of shade on the ground,

they emerge ecstatic to announce their market:
coyote pup, vulture fledgling, scorpions
clicking in chicken-wire cages raised like lanterns,
like a futile conjure they must attempt

hundreds of times. Hard to know– belt or boot
maker, medicine man– who ever stops to reward
their cunning. On this road only a kettle of vultures
stir the bored stadium of survival.

But the truth is, once in a while, a black
Bronco pulls over, with a rack of Ibex
horns as its hood ornament, with dice

that dance from its rear-view mirror above
a dash plated with gold, & the eagerness
of those children surrounds the opened door.

They must have a name for the exotic boot
that gravels the ground, maybe God is a man
who comes every thousand cars, lets them
recover their faces in his mirrored sunglasses.
 

image: Tara Wray


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