I wrapped myself around the AIDs epidemic
in the 80’s. The fear grew well into the
90’s, when I saw a man on a starvation drip. (no more Lazarus for him)
He had had enough of needles and ventilators and AZT and gauze and scars and
tubing. Suddenly my fear was gone, and there was a raw sense of militancy. I
was determined to give him a dignified burial. What else could I do for a
person who had starved himself to death rather than go on fighting a lost
battle. One really needs to be brave and distinguished to accomplish such a deed
with honor. I knew that, the nurses knew that.
His family knew nothing but the looming gossip around them.
Sex at sixty-three - Tanka prose It’s been years since the color of my sex is red. Nothing seems to interest me. Is it fear? Those old lovers stay away; the new one’s lie, no, vie for my paycheck. Salt and pepper hair, bald spots, and I am so fat that who would want me anyway. to all the boys that are so smart, I have let my anger pass, so while you’re down there kiss my ass and I will love again at last. This is not a promise. I’ve begun a scrapbook with the sole purpose of pinning my sex drive. You can’t hear it, or see it, or read it, or sing it, specially sing it, since I don’t rhyme. But you can feel it, my crocodile skin. Please don’t laugh. It’s not a laughing matter. I’m so lonely my shoulder bone hurts. what illness do I think I have— the warrens of my brain dry and crackle
I who am something else enter your mouth unafraid of kisses...I try to make these wretched words line up again across this paper that can feel no pain a new beginning starting from shale scuffed by wind the survey of a condor’s eye
Sergio A. Ortiz is a Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.
Sergio A. Ortiz es poeta puertorriqueño que escribe en inglés y español. Actualmente trabaja en su primera colección de poesía, Elephant Graveyard, Cementerio de Elefantes. Ha sido nominado al premio Pushcart en dos ocasiones, al Best of the Web en cuatro ocasiones, y al Best of the Net, 2016. 2do lugar Premio Ramón Ataz de Poesía, 2016. Sus poemas han aparecido, o están por aparecer, en revistas literarias como: Letralía, Chachala Review, The Accentos Review, Resonancias, por mencionar algunos.