Two Poems by Ray Gonzalez

EL ARROTO
El arroto - a river spirit dwelling where many people have drowned
El arroto arrives in the white flame, touches your forehead with doubt, hides its true form when you love what doesnít belong to you, el arroto weaving out of the way as its music is misread, its cool fiber entwined around your idea there is one savior, but he is too busy picking moth wings out of pieces of bread, el arroto riding from your blankets to steal your dark bottles of glass, play them as the instrument left behind by someone who wanted you to care, el arroto moving to its own wind, its geometric wisdom bringing you back as you lift your arms and trace a blood vein across your neck, el arroto waiting for you to cross to the other side of the river where no one has waited in years, but someone is finally there, waving arms warning you about a closeness you donít understand.


PHASE I know the fog when the men who play with it come back to strike. By a hidden fire, a single noun at the end of the reason. I sense the word when the face of another catches me as I fall, my angry ones passing into memory with little guitars playing in their skins. I respect the glass beetle and am faithful to the idea of rice milk. When I taste it on a piece of paper, I lie down to sleep with each word. Deposing of street lamps. I leave two towns without having been gone. Through the arched shadows, the sparrows command against the wind. I whisper their first notes, subtract them from the cut healing on my palm. In a mercado stall, the slicing of the pigís head where a pretty woman smiles. Finding my history books and worn shoes, I close my imagination with two lumps of coal, slip beside the trapped beggar in the stall, wonder about the blood apples in his skin as the mercado catches the fire and the pigís head hisses with smoke. Ray Gonzalez