Keeping Monsoon Catalogues

Fernando Pérez


We inched our way into cold water.

Up to our waists with fleeting moments.

I wanted to count before diving in

but she jumped before a number

took shape on my tongue.

At the sight of her absence,

my body inching,

making cold and myself disappear.

I am used to the disappearing.


Letters strung by the current

pushed silence instead of sentences.

I wanted to say something evocative

like, “Look at that tree,

how its branches form the shape of a hand.”


We forgot to skip stones.

As a boy I learned to let go

when the wrist flicks.

Many ripples went missing.

I counted each time the river stone

rose and fell.


This hour the river shoves.

This hour the pregnant river spills us.

This hour the river’s mouth is full of vomit.

Marooned on the bank.

We, the versions of ourselves

we hide from each other.


Your body is the needlepoint.

The river: the record.

The music of fragile holdings.

You have given me your back.

The current is steady grooves of wax

trickling around your waist.

An inaudible lyric.


In the idle river of salt

we have kept monsoon catalogues.

One dry calendar crossed.

This day in ink.

By sunset there is a question

rising from the water’s lip.

The presence of a punched tongue.

Say the water’s mirror.

Say dedo and lunar.

Point toward the mole on my middle finger,

the one on yours.

Say fuck

then you and mean it.

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