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July 2, 2020 Poetry


Miguel Murphy

Puig photo

I took the test. 
Persistent rash? 
A cough? A rumor
A fungus 

from that polluted 
Ipanema beach. 
I smiled when I heard, 
took a drag, bent 

my wrist, palm up. Juana 
. Boquita 
pintada, indigo 
like the night. A paradise 

of jasmine gardens. 
To hell with Peronism. 
I was censored 
for that word 

coger, ignored— 
Mostly disappointed by 
Babenco’s Kiss. Even 
Nancy Reagan 

turned it off, halfway in— 
Like my last meal, 
four grave spoonfuls 
of mashed potatoes. . . 

My daughter, Javier 
Labrada, mailed her cigar 
ashes to Argentina 
smearing me along Orquídea St. 

in Cuernavaca instead! 
A true queen. As 
for Ms. Oscar, 
“La Hurt is so bad 

she will probably 
win.” She did. 
She never understood 
Valentín, or how 

loving a macho 
—but only if he really beat you. 
To give oneself! 
To get down on both knees 

barking like a Bichon Frise. 
That’s real joie de vivre
To have a cause

image: Doug Paul Case