Three poems published in the fourth Western Voices issue of Setu (2022)

Many thanks to Scott Thomas Outlar, Sunil Sharma, and Anurag Sharma for including three of my poems in this fourth Western Voices issue of Setu, among the many fine poets included. I appreciate the hard work they perform on behalf of the global poetry community. My apologies for formatting problems in this copy and paste.

Here’s one of the three.

The grackle’s gifts

In my backyard there’s a grackle. His eyes quick,

he finds gifts I do not realize I need. Gives

me his cocked head of attention. Sings love songs only

my Viejo knew, back to keep his eye on me, frustrated

he no longer has thumbs, fists, a facile tongue, and bilingual brain.

The grackle found another’s ring with letters and a date. But now

it’s gone to pay the water bill.

Indigo shards adhere to glass bricks, bend light, distort shadows

both inside the house and out.

My favorite sound is the harsh cry of a grackle.

My favorite smell is the honest sweat of a worker.

My favorite tastes are whisky and sin on his breath,

or the gush of sex memorialized on hands and thighs.

My favorite gift is a lover who pays attention, gets it right.

The one who pulls me into that other dimension where nothing

exists but percussive sound, intimate scents,

secrets muttered through clenched teeth into the back of my neck,

a single black feather left outside my closed door.

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