Poetry Issue 3

   Issue#3: April - June 2003

Conchitina Cruz



1.

 

The table shook. It was a choice                                 “Give me your hand,” the

                                                                                    fortune teller said to me.              

between the open door

 

and the glass of water.

 

 

2.

 

 I needed an excuse; I took my wine glass

 

to the kitchen. Nobody told me

 

to do the dishes.

 

The basin of water reeked of fish.

 

 

                                                                                   

3.

 

He said: “The sea coughed up a year’s worth              According to the fortune

teller, I should guard myself

of corpses. When I called it an accomplice,                 against my own stupidity

                                                                                    Give me anything and I will

its waves crept up to my feet,                                      drink it.           

                                                                                   

licking them clumsily. So intense, it seemed,

 

was its desire to be forgiven.

 

 

4.

 

The locked door could not subdue

 

their drunken laughter. Nothing could be done

 

about the smell of fish;

 

I scrubbed my arms and the bathwater

 

shook my face to pieces.

 

 

 

What is a mirror but water that refuses to budge?       I wanted to smash the tattoo

                                                                                    of a butterfly on her wrist.

 

5.

 

The earth shook. Somebody dreamt

 

of a bowl of fruit, somebody asked

 

for water. The night was a single wail

 

of a siren.

 

 

6.

 

I wanted to hear about cops and hoses.                       She bored me with the

                                                                                    details of my past. She

He said: “Can I tell you instead about the time                       called me names that

                                                                                    couldn’t hurt me.

I lived away from the sea.”

 

 

7.

 

After the bath, I signed my name                                She said her tattoo was

                                                                                    “her lucky fish.”

on the glass. I wanted to see the city

 

through my clumsy script, but my breath

 

erased every opportunity.

 

 

8.

 

The loaves, the fish, the water-into-wine.                   I asked the fortune teller if I

                                                                                    could spend the night on her

In every story, there must be room                              couch. I was afraid to sleep;

                                                                                    the sirens outside her

for the sea.                                                                   window soothed me.

 

 

9.

 

They slept like corpses on the carpet.

 

Wearing nothing but a towel,

 

I stepped over their bodies

 

and reached for a glass.

 

 

 

10.

 

It was water that killed him.                                        “Drink,” she said.

 

They drowned him in a bucket

 

because he never said a word.