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Rigoberto Gonzalez – Ⅰ

Anxiety Gallery  



Portrait One: Rebel Shot Through the Eye


A bullet instead of an eyeball.

Whatever he sees he will pierce.

He must avoid glass, mirrors. In Iraq

a woman walks with a punctured mouth,

her tongue a pink mole that quivers

at the touch of light. The soldiers joke

that she farts when she talks.

Her son keeps his face to the sky,

waiting for the second kiss to fall.




Portrait Two: Decomposition Cycle


Bald chickens roam the dumping grounds.

They’ve pecked each other’s combs off

and are angry at their ugly skulls.

What better comfort than pinching pimples

on the hands that no longer feed them.

When the flesh slips off, the birds panic

at the sight of chicken bones. What betrayal

to be tricked into becoming cannibals again.

Worms boil in their stomachs made fists.




Portrait Three: The Colonel Smoking on the Balcony


The tobacco is Cuban. The pipe fibula.

The dogs disguise themselves as mud

and will be spared the spit. Fireworks tonight.

Chinese ingenuity but American artistry.

The whole town comes out of hiding

now that the houses are gone. The show

begins. When the church explodes, children

scream. When the car explodes, children run.

When the children explode…