Lodestar Quarterly

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

Grayer Landscapes

Rigoberto González

If I wanted to set myself on fire would you
dare light the match? I would

make it easy for us and scrub your wet prints
off my body. They tumble off my body

like paint chips weary of the same gray
landscape, the same gray that cracks beneath

the ice pick of your touch, surrendering blues
and reds. Wiped clean, I leave no fracture or bruise.

What if I said I was always flammable?
I was set to burn long before you

split my shadow on the wall in two.
Will that do? Our bedroom wall turned its back

those nights -- there was only me, there was only you.
The tiny landmines of your teeth

had long -- since taken root inside me.
You had hoped that what you rammed inside me

bore a sharper will. When you fucked me,
you fucked what no longer lives

inside of you. I'm the grayer you,
the heap of love-making you left behind

to putrefy: a paper trail of Miss Yous, candlelit
meals, eyes like jacarandas, and a list of misused

affirmatives. Everything's combustible.

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.

Go To: Issue 5 or Lodestar Quarterly home page