Across the street from my window
lives an old gay man without family.
He has photos of his exes in the windowpanes
and an army of useless kites.
Like all houses with that many broken kites,
it’s a crazy place to live, his silence reigns,
the boyfriends never get old,
the television is never turned off.
Friends, almost-relatives, argue,
throw all kinds of fears and drama
in the old man’s face every time he tries to talk.
The only thing absent: the resounding
welcome of a lover.
When he’s fed up with being invisible
and doesn’t want to be a vintage pic
he walks to the beach, plants feet in the sand
next to a tropical grape tree and waits.
That is where he spends the endless night.
He doesn’t leave until exhaustion invades.
Always looking at the sea,
to some non-existent radiant point
at the end of the darkness,
like the whirling stars
in Starry Night, lying
in his memory hammock,
unraveling primitive rainbows,
hallucinating his failure and defeat.
The small and modest apartment
that he moved into after weathering
sixty-eight hurricanes was his last
refuge of solace.
Yesterday I looked out the window
and he was gone along with the portraits
of his exes, the useless kites
and the sand he’d leave on the doormat.
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.