June 28, 2008

José Angel Araguz

GLOVES

I made up a story for myself once,
That each glove I lost
Was sent to my father in prison

That’s all it would take for him
To chart my growth without pictures,
Without words or visits,

Only colors and design,
Texture; it was ok then
For skin to chafe and ash,

To imagine him
Trying on a glove,
Stretching it out

My open palm closing
And disappearing
In his fist.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007

José Angel Araguz: “I grew up basically not knowing much about my father; he was in prison early on in my life and died when I was six. I find this sense of absence often projected in my work in terms of having to fill in the blanks. In regards to the poem, ‘Gloves,’ I was working in Manhattan at the time, where, during winter, the subway platforms and cars are often littered with forgotten or dropped gloves. The thought that somewhere someone walked around with a bare hand is what got me going.”