Sergio A. Ortiz, Dancing in Wine

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. He is working on his first full-length collection of poems,  Elephant Graveyard.


Never tell me that secret.
Keep it to yourself,
that between us the convulsive
beauty of this island may last.
Embezzled of its green,
hope-broken island.

Incendiary seed of an afternoon
that illuminated fertile land, those vines
hidden at the bottom of their own abyss.
Hurricane winds between the lips
of your sweet wine.

The music of water when I dig into your skin
and elaborate with thirst, my ancient hoe.
The frightened caress, the dark kiss,
your salt collapse

and your landslide.
The convulsive beauty of the cry
that crossed the island.

Wild Needle Raindrops

It rained inside the bedroom.
Outside these sea walls

the day is a hot red knot.
My body fills up with wet nouns.

Silence has a light-blue Spanish
accent. The men in my photographs

drowned. Their cries of distress
stopped breaking the water.

I am a moist flesh statue.
Lightning begins, embedded

in my feet. The walls crawl with electricity.
I doze off listening to turtle music.

The roof

a place where hell burns endlessly,
where we cure loneliness.

Where men kiss each other
and from their mouths gush

red rays that bristle legs.
Six walls hang out like heads

that swell in size when it rains.
Where survivors laugh

while the voice of an angry boombox
blasts. On those 2×6 walls

I treasured life like a trained bird,
filled my hands with its blood,

loved a man while dancing.
He loved me back

between unnumbered glasses
of Dom Perignon.


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