by Sergio Ortiz

We buried you yesterday.
We threw dirt on you yesterday.
You were placed in the ground
surrounded by earth yesterday.

Generous Mother of the dead,
mother earth, mother vagina of frost,
arms of weather, lap of wind,
nest of night, mother of death,
pick him up, strip him, take him,
save him, finish him.

I’ve been watching you at night
above the marble, inside your little house.
One day with no eyes, no nose, no ears,
another day without a throat,
the skin on your forehead cracking, sinking,
obscuring the wheat field of your reeds.
All of you submerged in moisture and gases,
making your waste, (your disorder, your soul).

Your flesh more wood than your bones
more bones than anything else.
Wet land where your mouth was,
rotten air, annihilated light.
Bubbles under the leaves of water.
Sunday flowers two meters’ above,
they want to kiss you, but nothing happens.


SERGIO A. ORTIZ is a gay Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have been published in hundreds of journals and anthologies. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.


Photo: “glow” by Puste Blümchen