Guillermo Castro

“You Wake Up”

You wake up       an amnesiac
You wake up to the sounds of construction
You wake up in a crane with LULL painted on either side
You wake up in the middle of the night when the engine of the mind cranks its chainsaw
You wake up in the acid reflux of Jesus
You wake up past your stop
You wake up near the blocked exit door
You wake up after sticking your hands in a minor’s pants
You wake up on the train to Dismal Boulevard
You wake up Sleeping Beauty with a bitch slap which she promptly returns
You wake up cadavers
You wake up encased in ice
You wake up as a homophobic youth in the 1950’s and again in present times
You wake up a butterfly inside Walt Whitman’s freshly fingered beard
You wake up when Hades barks only the ugliest of people are the most ill-mannered
You wake up and reach for the gun your old man used on himself
You wake up in the shower with your formerly graceful self reflected on the spouts
You wake up and release frantic bubbles in the sobering places where you drown
You wake up bang
You wake up caught in a rain of ashen fedoras
You wake up under the terrible gaze of cancer
You wake up like the cod fish amongst the meats on your boss’s grill
You wake up equal in worth and weight to Third World currency
You wake up there’s a burglar fiddling with your lock
You wake up wrapped in scarves that unfold like the largest foreskin this side of Brazil
You wake up on an L-shaped red sofa with vomit snared in your chest hair
You wake up and float in the timorous light coming from the moon
You wake up a drone in flight
You wake up amid untold dead
You wake up keenly aware a member of Al Qaeda’s slipping inside your garage
You wake up the Marines
You wake up but they remind you of all the men who got away and those who’ll refuse you a kiss
You wake up L-shaped a red bitch with bangs
You wake up in America
You wake up terrible gaze freshly fingered
You wake up Beauty’s crane beard
You wake up America
You wake up timorous icy moon vomit
You wake up bang and LULL
You wake up America
You wake up the mind and the gun
You wake up and forget
You wake up America
You wake up the gun the gun the gun

La Libertad

“Soiled as the grass” warbled Ana Belén in my dream
And who am I to argue with my subconscious?
Though I did not actually wake up soiled
Thank you Marlboro Lights
For masking my own musky smell
Let smoke rings twist and disappear freely
In front of my stern black shades
While the little boy in a tie-dye top
Stumbles toward the breakers
With his two gray-haired mommies in tow
A cloud moves the light changes two prepubescent cliques
Go by and I’m back at my deeply scarred
Desk in the third grade enraptured by the tale
Of the flamingos who showed up late to the dance
Wearing snake skin stockings
That did not fly with the hosts
Coral snakes as it turned out
So careful where you go dancing
And check with your hosts about proper attire
Lest they bite you on the legs until they bleed and burn
But not me I love legs
Especially those attached to Pilobolus dancers
Gliding across the stage on their bellies
By way of the oldest trick in childhood
The sheet of plastic doused with a garden hose
I’m reminded of that Ashbery line
About what keeps the ocean from sliding off the planet
And that nincompoop at work who thinks global warming is “crock”
I wish I’d been to the beach more often this year
I know I’ll miss the rush of water being sucked from under me
Rhythm to the left harmony to the right
Sand pushing up my arches toes point and sink
So much pleasure in this awkward relevé
And if the end is to emerge from the surf
Let an archangel with Clive Owen’s sad face
Suddenly appear above the waves
Pull his prop sword and cut us free

Guillermo Castro's work appears in Quarterly West, Court Green, Ducts.org, Hinchas de Poesia, Bellevue Literary Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Barrow Street and elsewhere; also, in the anthologies This Full Green Hour, My Diva, Saints of Hysteria, and more. He resides in New York City and hails from Argentina.

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