January 18, 2021

José A. Alcántara

DIVORCE

He has flown headfirst against the glass
and now lies stunned on the stone patio,
nothing moving but his quick beating heart.
So you go to him, pick up his delicate
body and hold him in the cupped palms
of your hands. You have always known
he was beautiful, but it’s only now, in his stillness,
in his vulnerability, that you see the miracle
of his being, how so much life fits in so small
a space. And so you wait, keeping him warm
against the unseasonable cold, trusting that
when the time is right, when he has recovered
both his strength and his sense of up and down,
he will gather himself, flutter once or twice,
and then rise, a streak of dazzling
color against a slowly lifting sky.

from Rattle #70, Winter 2020

__________

José A. Alcántara: “Through a strange set of circumstances, I have worked both in Prince William Sound, site of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station. I write poetry to keep out of trouble between catastrophes.”

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