I started piano lessons in 3rd grade.
My stepfather made me practice everyday
for two hours on a cardboard keyboard, Six months later, he showed up
with an enormous organ inside a suitcase.
It was then I discovered “Misty,”
by Johnny Mathis.
That month I caught my piano teacher
playing the violin, and fell in love with a man
for the first time. He placed all his existence
on the tip of his fingers, and I couldn’t breathe.
I lost my balance. Insomnia set in
like a guardian angel.
March 16th 1988, despite the rain,
the fireworks in Iraq,
the hands inside broken pockets,
the hollow eyes where sleeplessness leans on,
despite the Queer Nation tattoo on my back,
the piano player inside me,
the mute language
of desire knocked on my door.
There I am, lying on my bed
And there was Welder
standing on the side of my bed
with a boom box playing Misty,
asking me to dance. I got up
and stopped in front of lips asking for my lips,
the smile open to the world
the song born out of the wound of death.
I penetrated his pupils full of stealthy desires,
and we took to the sky, two seagulls
romancing the clouds.
Sergio A. Ortiz is a retired English professor and bilingual queer poet. A Pushcart nominee, Best of the Web, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. He took second place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. His recent credits include Spanish audio poems in GATO MALO Editing, Maleta Ilegal, Frances House, South Florida Poetry Journal, Communicators League, RatsAssReview, Spillwords and several other journals.