Gustavo Hernandez

Window Shades

Even the neighbors are going through this
with me. Maybe more than the family
I worry or those old, discarded friends
who’d no doubt say I’m suffering
from a tangled spirit, who’d prompt me
to dive into some mystic bog
for a solution, even though they know
I no longer have the eye or the knife
for that. The men next door never prompt
or ask. They regularly slice
plastic away from copper wire in their backyard
and listen to me praying. Never to a god.
Just to myself or, those few times early on,
to the man who left me behind.
They hear the songs of a romantic,
the machine bolts of a futurist,
the words of someone who fears
the contour that his questions form.
Sometimes there is a poker game. Sometimes
they look away from their hands to see
what my hands and my shampoo have done
to my new boyfriend’s thick dark hair.
Of my progress, I do believe
they have the clearest accounting.
The tones of my voice. The discographies
shifting. The years away from the family home
I cry and shower off. We’ve thrown away
every bit of the small talk and the posturing.
In the mornings, we wave and watch
our eyes become more earnest by the day.

Gustavo Hernandez is the author of the poetry collection Flower Grand First (Moon Tide Press). He was born in Jalisco, Mexico and lives in Southern California.

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Spring 2022