You’ve wanted to enumerate
every particle of dust, every layer
of sadness, number the blows delivered
in frustration, every trick to fool the moon
that cut your figure in half in its shadow.
But you can’t, so you bring your hand
to your head, discover that in that survey
there’s an image of yourself. It surprises you
that in its contours & distance ―barely
in its shadow― you still recognize yourself.
Something stops you. You said too much
& it got you into trouble. The old pain
that kept you awake shelters your feelings
of revenge. You can’t go forward like you want.
The desert you presume to remember
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.