Friday, July 1, 2016

Mitch Rayes

I've been working on writing my Chiapas years, and I got a manuscript under consideration . . . . Here's a new poem for Chiapas poet Joaquin Vasquez Aguilar.


in a forest in the clouds far above your adopted city
zapatistas emerge from the shadows
to answer their time to fight

alone in a room
you retreat forever from the battles of the living

waves pound the sands of your birthplace
there is a flash in the water
your brother abandons his nets
hurries to catch the last bus to tuxtla
only to find you already lifeless

the swallows ask about you
and I offer them a morsel of Whitman
to carry back to their secret chambers
to see if it finds you
in the most stubborn droplet of the deepest calcium

and I trace my regrets in a saucer of salt
on the flimsiest table of our favorite cantina
to see if you might join me again
after one more drink

and I place a thank you
into the longest pause of our final handshake

for the words you have gifted us
for the years
as they carry us closer to the darkness that shines

closer to you

Mitch Rayes

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