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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2021 - Vol. 18, Issue 3

"Christmas 2020" and "In the Caribbean"

written by

Sergio A. Ortiz

"Christmas 2020"

Four years of jerking myself awake, jarred dizziness, tears and very few friends, the Bronx doesn't need you. Stay, I'll fly in Doña Felisa's ghost with a cargo of snow wraiths. 

don't leave me 

counting seconds 

     cutting minutes 

on my wrist 

to ease the years 

of letdowns 

*Doña Felisa Rincon de Gautier was the Mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico from 1946 to 1969. In 1997 she flew snow into San Juan, PR. 

"In the Caribbean"

In the Caribbean,

the past is always King.

Walls don't exist.

Races are wrapped

around an unaltered

midday summer sun.

The man resting

next to me, his kisses,

barriers he puts up,

anchored to fog.

I see myself, years

ahead, shimmering

like a virgin forest

in the sun.

Sergio A. Ortiz is a retired English literature professor and bilingual gay poet. His recent credits include Spanish audio poems in GATO MALO Editing, an important Spanish Caribbean publication, Maleta Ilegal, a South American journal, Indolent Books, HIV HERE AND NOW, Communicators League, RatsAssReview, Spillwords, and several other journals and anthologies.

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