portion of the artwork for Sergio Ortiz's poem

Rain and Toothless Angels
Sergio Ortiz

In my city, it always rains. Water
falls with an intensity that only belongs
to fables or dreams. Serious, insistent, almost
solid, a cloth made by hands without eyes.

It rains on currency circulating in shopping malls,
on every ticket drenched in sweat and bile.
It rains in courts, archives, between sentences, minutes,
articles, amendments. It rains as if someone were trying
to apologize, their voice crumbles into drops.

In the street, toothless angels slip while begging
door to door. In cemeteries, the dead spend
the eternity we gave them fixing drainpipes.

Clouds do not pray for the salvation: they’ve been baptized
by places of happiness. It rains: a clumsy gesture
covers buildings, moistens their foreheads, windows are silent.

The memory of my city is a puddle that wets legs,
softening my paper bones. Memories, like dull-skinned fish,
swim around, infect bystanders with insomnia.
Beetles roll awkwardly on sidewalks, buzzards watch
traffic in their free hours. Spiders weave the scaffolds
on which I walk. Gray scales grow on my front walls.

It rains on the history of the city, smudged and dispersed,
impossible to gather. Rains on the heads of the saints
that spit upward, armed with miracles of lead and beer.
It rains under the roof of the presidential palace: moss,
green as a caress, grows on the busts of heroes, on their eyelids
tired of so much corruption.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 49 | Spring/Summer 2017