The 2River View 20.1 (Fall 2015)

Mario Duarte

An Intervention

I am the twitching man in the blue polo and white shorts at the bus stop.
A young woman sashays in on impossibly skinny legs. She shakes her fist
at the sky. Then, countless, cackling crows break loose from the treetops,
swooping down, lifting her away.

On the grass, I sit with my back against an ancient oak sweating in the shade.
Gasoline and diesel fumes from bypassing cars and trucks foul the air. How I
curse the monster clinging to the surface of my eye—a tiny, compact grain of
sand refusing to budge.

The bus is late. How long can I count the fluff parachuting over the treetops?
My skull is a collapsing cave of anxiety. Last night, I dreamt of your hand clasping
my lower back, and I awoke to a tear sliding down my cheekbones and intervening into my mouth.

Escaping from a Straitjacket While Hanging from a Balancing Rope Suspended 150 feet Above Ground

Our story was written in invisible ink. You have disappeared into nothing I can smell
or touch or taste in any way. I am left hanging, a buzzing fly writhing in spider silk.

No longer will I wander among your valleys and mountain or scale the snowy summits
of your thighs, or swim among the infinitesimal islands floating in your eyes.

Now I only dream of innumerable ashes drifting, spreading on the sheerest waves. Now
I am only an upside down man—whose blood drains down drowning his head.

In the City of Literature, autumn roars. A chilling wind sways the balancing rope.
My unavoidable plunge punctuates the contours of every horrible mask I have ever worn.

Mario Duarte lives in Iowa City, Iowa, and is an alumnus of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has poems in the Acentos Review, Palabra, Passages North, Slab, Steel Toe Review, and Yellow Medicine Review, among others; and a short story in Oddville Press, with another forthcoming in Huizache. contact

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