- Jake Barnes' wound is purely metaphorical.
- It's hidden, emotional, emasculating, and
- representative of a generation
- that lost cause fighting.
- That's why it means something
- when he only catches small fish.
Finally a word that’s sound for sound
the same in English and Spanish.
It’s coming now, the clockwork fog
that draws curtains over the mountains.
Beneath thunder I’m half-reading Lorca
(translation on the adjacent page).
Clouds move across the window
like faces watched from a slow bus.
The shadow doesn’t lift. It’s a grey between
open sky and the perfect dark
and it keeps me looking out
from the blurred curve of this place.
I become a child again,
hiding upstairs in a couch corner
after lunch with a group of Colombians.
I say good and yes in bat squeaks.
The food is too much. My tiny hands pick
with the hesitant edge of the fork.
Can’t form soft “r”s, I’m never ready
for clever quickness, face round and still,
with the eyes of a night mouse.
I pronounce I understand more than I can say.
This has been true of me always: a little
reticent, even in the language I know.
Went outside to bring in those plates
and paused. Fingers on the lattice,
heard the froth and snap, the fake laughs
of some party downstairs, thought about
how we live against a freeway on a grid of lights.
Then I looked up to stare at this
square of our apartment untethered
against the dark, a yellow painting
from a distance, and began to miss it.
I’ve got this
snap sidewalk confidence—
skirtline wraps circular,
muscles hug leg bones tight.
Leather folds over
foot bones, arch held.
I step on a snail
and crush its little shell.
Sharp corners edge
skin pulls taut
across my jaw.
Each angle’s clean
as an envelope crease.
I lick smooth blades
of my polished teeth—
ready to kill it, so to speak.