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La Época en que Hay Olvido

ISSUE:  Spring 2021


Sometimes I enter the small chambers of the God of Forgetting 
and take my place at his feet 
and kneel 
and bow my head.

And I say into the ground that bears both of us: 
I need you—now. 

You have listened to the supplications 
of tyrants and dictators
and kings

—in my lifetime alone, countless wishes.

But there is already a country renamed for its suffering, 
and an altar upon which 
the innocent secretly
undo the knots 
with their teeth. 

All I have to offer is rotting carrots 
and a basil plant 
dying in its water. 

I used to eavesdrop on the priests who moonlight as assassins 
to make sure my name 
was not in their diaries.

How many people have come outside 
from their desperate invocations  
and self-mutilation 

to see the wonder for themselves? Is it true? 
Are the juncos 
in the dogwoods? 

Have the dancers removed their right shoes? 
Are they hopping around 
on both hands? 

Yes, it is true. We are closing our eyes. To forecast death 
we gather with strangers, 
like this one woman 
in the mustard coat 
sitting on a park bench. 

Her son has opened a small blue box stuffed with peanuts
and he pours them into her one cupped hand
so a few fall 
for the sparrows
and all the while 

the chainsaw is singing to each of us: STAY! STAY AS LONG AS YOU LIKE! 
and the boy—I told you—
is trying to fly. 

He first lifts one wing, then lets both go. Now 
watch the little one 
take off 

leading his enormous dragon made of water and light 
by its silver leash. See

the long liquid flock of muscle 
in the child’s fist. 



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