Bautizado por Narciso

Ángel García

Baptized by my great-grandfather

          in a stagnant puddle of rainwater

— zancudo eggs laid and hatched

          on the water’s film-thin skin — I

am christened: charco: he who in

          shallow pools searches for muddled

reflections among riverbeds cracked

          with thirst. Un criatura, I’m brought

back into the world, buzzing, hungry

          for breath, sweat, to fill my abdomen

with three generations of blood. What

          I carry in my bones is ausencia.

When I say his name          I smell muddied daffodils

When I say his name          my grandmother wails

When I say his name          his follies, on the tip of my tongue,

                                            write home to ask for forgiveness.


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