Saint Julian Press
Leslie Contreras Schwartz ~ Poet
We climb, all legs and hands.
Clutching for each other’s
eyes that we cannot see.
Before I see you, I have met you.
Clutching for each other’s eyes
and faces, your moon-shaped face up to my swollen one.
There is Green’s Bayou meeting thick vines,
plastic bags scuttling across the water.
Where I rode up and down the shore on my bike, swelling
with solid loneliness, clay and sand repeating.
Click and hum from houselights, grasshoppers rasping on water
the evening when my father was on his way
home, the twitch of his fingers a solid loneliness repeating
as he played piano on top of my fingers.
He picked up my mother’s hand on his way to some place
in the backseat of his car. She climbed out of her house for
She watches her shows, I hold onto her fingers
when she says to the television, I always wanted to do that,
to a woman climbing out of sequins,
dancing across the stage, face drowned out by light.
I always wanted to do this,
to ride my bike beside the wildness, the surge
and the bayou where drowning is so close to surviving
and my mother’s face as she washes the dishes by hand.
Baby, now you are born into this surge, a wild
search of dirt paths and bayous. You are a signal
sent back to the world, the hand
I held in the air, the shadow it made in the dusk
as I held onto the handlebar with the other hand, a signal to
that I can conjure something out of barely.
Shadows and dusk.
Climbing, all my legs, your hands.
FUEGO by Leslie Contreras Schwartz © 2016
SAINT JULIAN PRESS