Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 5 • Spring 2003 • Poetry

Other Victims

Rigoberto González

Thank heavens for victims who find their way
to folly. They walk on the lean streets in your place
and into a world rich with abuses. Their fates would have
no place to shine if not for that journey, the possible
headlines, and sigh pushed out by the odd relief that

it wasn't you. You are lucky. The man you live with
would never kill you, not in the violent way
other people die, all horror-flick theatrics with costumes
so dirty they could only thrive in other parts of town,
not here in the quiet rooms where your only surprise

is a kiss from behind. If he ever wanted to be rid of you,
your lover would do it kindly: perhaps a poison that falls in love
with your sleep. A compassionate man, he won't let you die
in public, or alone. He won't let you suffer
without him. Never worry. He'll take care of you at home.

Rigoberto González is the author of So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks, a selection of the National Poetry Series. His work was recently published or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, Chelsea, Colorado Review, and ZYZZYVA. The recipient of a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and writing residencies to Spain, Brazil, and Costa Rica, he has also written a book for children, Soledad Sigh-Sighs, and a novel, Crossing Vines, both titles forthcoming in 2003. He is currently writing the biography of Chicano writer, Tomás Rivera, and translating the works of Mexican writer, Salvador Novo. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and is a book reviewer for El Paso Times of Texas.

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