–Rudy FranciscoThe tongue has a jagged beauty
and I know how easily the mouth
can become a rose bush.
I hope I haven’t already driven
past my greatest moments.
I hope there is something
beautiful on the horizon
that’s just as impatient as I am.
Something so eager,
it wants to meet me halfway.
A moment that is diligently
staring at its watch, trembling with
and bursting at the seams,
wondering what’s taking me
so long to arrive.
In 1983, illusionist David Copperfield
made the Statue of Liberty disappear.
He placed a curtain in front of the monument
and when he pulled it down the 3,000-foot
statue was no longer there.
I think about how this magic trick
has become too familiar. Liberty
just vanishing without any explanations.
Yesterday, I injured myself
and the explanation didn’t make sense.
I said, “Well, I was walking…”
and that was the end of the story.
At this age,
my body is a stranger that I
keep meeting over and over again.
The words “I am” are slowly
transforming into “I used to be”
because every year,
the past tense finds a larger house
inside the neighborhood of my
I am slowly realizing that
when the skeleton is new
and the bones are vibrant,
they coerce the mind into
thinking the days will pass,
but the flesh will not.
Youth promises us immortality,
but doesn’t have the means to
uphold its end of the bargain.
When I was six years old,
my brother and my cousins
tried to teach me how to swim.
They did this by throwing me into a pool.
Immediately, my arms became two skinny brown flailing distress signals.
I think I heard my brother say,
“If he dies, I’m going to be in so much trouble.”
I remember them pulling me from the jaws
of the liquid beast before it could devour me whole.
That was the day I almost lost my life.
To anyone brave enough to love me,
Do you know the human body is approximately
sixty percent water? When I walk into a room
full of people, all I see is an ocean.
Oh, how painfully and recognizably true.
On the day you couldn’t hold yourself together anymore,
you called for me, voice crackling like two sets of knuckles
before an altercation.
I found you, looking like a damaged wine glass.
I hugged your shatter, I cut all of my fingers
trying to jigsaw puzzle you back together.
When it was over,
you looked at the stains on the carpet
and blamed me for making a mess.
She asks me to kill the spider.
Instead, I get the most
peaceful weapons I can find.
I take a cup & a napkin,
I catch the spider, put it outside
and allow it to walk away.
If I am ever caught in the wrong place
at the wrong time, just being alive
and not bothering anyone
I hope I am greeted
with the same kind