The Suffering Game
Mother wins the suffering game
She cares for the sick
Big Brother is the runner up
He pays for the sick and for Mother to live better than sick
Only his Mondays count
Little Brother plays a private suffering game
And is left alone to tend his odds
I lose the suffering game
My baby is a balloon smile and his father
Loves us every day with capable hands
As the loser of the game
I am given a brick to hang from my face
In this small way I help bring life
Something closer to fair
Originally published by Red Savina Review
The Sun Coast
Father does not know he is in Cancelada.
Mother said dinner is fun and the boats are big in Puerto Banús.
We are taking Father to a hospital in Estepona.
Reservations for lunch await in a white restaurant in Mijas.
He fell last night in Ronda.
We must be patient; the doctor lives in Málaga.
A 24-hour pharmacy is open in San Pedro.
The greetings we’d send are ash in Marbella.
Gibraltar is closed anyway.
A Notion of Marriage
Because I am a poet,
I read about things like the center of skin.
About warm bodies coming together in the dark,
and how it can be the meaning of life
when someone gets it right.
And I know I should write about things
like a moving chest and a naked back.
About the coming together of life in the dark,
about our common desire
and the verbs that it took.
And it should be universal,
My moving chest, your naked back.
The notion of marriage,
of children, of daily love.
beneath the surface
of different meaning words.
But I don’t see the dark jaw
in the night,
or the soft center of touch spring alive.
There is effort and a plan.
There is marriage,
a shrinking room,
and a baby that eats time.
We do not say flesh when we mean sex.
We say, “It’s about right.”
And, “It would be nice.”
We confirm how long it’s been
before we ask one another to get up
and make the bedroom
Originally published by “Aviary Review”
Cover hand-drawn by Miami-based artist Adrian Avila.