I was not born to lose
My life is in nostalgia gone out of style.
Like a friend said
when he got beaten by the police:
This is fucked up.
The world ain’t worth shit.
Better I stay stoned.
The least I could do
is blame it on the energy shortage
the speed of time
or the objective eye of the world
but I know
it is my negligence
that opens and closes the doors
until I surrender
I get tired
of the idiotic pride in being a man.
Wolves can tell the most
magnificent stories about perverse lambs.
Lizards do not know
they live in the Third World,
can’t invent bombs.
Sergio A. Ortiz is a gay poet, a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal.
On the day of the dead, Pablo put on his pants
one mummified foot at a time. It wasn’t
his fault, rain was the true culprit. Clouds
followed his feet for years, poured whenever
he tried to cut bread in the City of Glass.
His soles cracked, sprouting roots.
Julia entertained on her balcony,
levitating intimate secrets. People on 42nd Street
attributed her faculties to a Santero visiting
her family on the day she was born.
She stood tall and elegant like the mountains
to the south of Black Island, Pablo’s home.
Her face had traces of unforgettable pain.
They married. Julia, carried down the aisle
by two old lovers, found the last bottle of rum
hidden in the trash before the wedding.
She bled life into a gutter, no one recited her verses.
No one knew she was Ambassador to the Island of Poetry.
Pablo was one mummified foot at a time
closer to banging pots and starvation. Medicine denied,
orders from the dictator.
They are gone but I keep their marriage vows
to read out loud on The Day of the Dead.
Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. Second 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.