Rescue nothing but the fierce wings fluttering
on the horizon—or our clamoring words
above the abyss—in the end: bow to the radiance
of la boca—sweat beading on the upper lip.

Ultimately, we are only the meager cohorts
of shadows—a harsh inheritance—trailing
a swarm of stars drooping over celestial dew,
fatigued and aching to collapse into dust.

In our time, the hostility of el tigre
collides with the steely visages of the ancient steles,
and you and I parachute into a remote,
solitary jungle beyond the semen-rain.

Mario Duarte lives in the UNESCO City of Literature, Iowa City, Iowa. He is an alumnus of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of New Hampshire. His poems and stories are published in Carnival, MadisonReview, Slab, SteelToeReview, OddvillePress,Storyscape, and others.