Saturday, July 25, 2009



I stopped pushing salvation
on inner city streets after the funeral.
Maples lining the road home took me to the kimono
and the baby, anniversary gifts from Tent.
Rubin changed clothes as soon as we got home
from Sunday school: toreror, mariachi, prime ballerina.
It was difficult to keep a straight face in the middle
of an argument with a little cross-dresser playing
in front of you.

The beginning of autumn, that’s when he started
collecting the feathers.
My baby, fourteen, lifeless.
We found the first one outside a Mud Wrestling
Bar & Grill. It had the Lords Prayer written on the barbs.
Soon enough, they were coming from all over the world.
He loved to collect them.

Close, Tent was very close to his son.
Closer than the rope he used.
He couldn’t take the impact of Rubin’s passing.

I needed to look in the mirror,
put on the kimono, cover my arms with the red
yellow leaves of the sash, and hide the teeth marks.

© Sergio A. Ortiz 2008

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