Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Our Difficult Telling—Issue 61, January 2016)

Fernando Pérez
Six Poems


console him.

from paper offerings. decir: to say.


object [folding].deceit.

the alligator pears



alligator skin.[now] andlater

feel  the wrists kiss,

the back butterfly.

 anticipate closure

loosening  the lid  of  creosote salve.

salváme.in mumbled


the smell

of desertrain. depriving

[fever]from freedom.

A Folkloric Truth

After Carmen Giménez Smith

He doesn’t believe that with herthere is a them

with the outskirtsa win & also because

like hornsbecause with themhe wins

Alive& sleeping& deprived

He doesn’t want to be

What can be namedTomorrow

as a spark or an acheThe young

& present are put down

It stirsWhen forgetting numbs the body

but dimmers numbnessWhen it soothes

which could take them back to sleep

not as forgettingForget whispering

Who is my loathed—

& so tightened from certainty they might

mask flattery of standing still

because no one will be made mortal

How young does she look will be relevant

Bodies standing still named from separation

The answerThe airing & sidewalks

will never be unkempt arteries

Pleasure not only vanishes as fact

Definitely a dissolving

He doubts that by then

TomorrowHe’ll be a splat on history

Desert Floral

“She is two things at once: Human and Fossil.”

—Brenda Hillman

Brown skin the seat of memory. Watered from the belly. Faucet I have forgotten.

Twins in a mound of mud before this way or that. Can we privilege the black

hair rivered over the left, before the right cliffs of her shoulders. This way over that.

Take the colors, trails when she leans, her head tilting the sun. One sarape. Print mocked. A long walk under clouds crying tears of acid from the mines.   

If we bury the children under the Juniper tree, string the seeds around our necks

we can ignore the herd, become the skin of a drum, later. Ghost beads and bleating

goats. I am distrustful of the rectangular pupil. Of getting lost near the mountain:

north-trending. Mesa de las Vacas with seams of coal running. Underground stampede.

Stamp us east of sacred lands where resistance is the knotting of a leaky hose,

brown skin at the seat of memory. Watered from the belly. A faucet we have forgotten

when we bury the children under the Juniper tree, string the seeds around our necks.

Plant huizache. Plant mesquite. Sing of brittle bush and cascalote. Of barrel

and of creosote. Of scorpion weed and coral bean. The desert’s floral dusting

where my grandmother put a marble on my mother’s tongue, a penny between her brows to damn the river of blood coming down her little nose.

Birds Without Warrants Arrest The Silence

Hummingbirds come

to pluck their words.

Perch telephone wires,

iridescent thumbs,

mocking borders

between neighbors.

He is safe

to sit next to

when his lips stay  pressed.

The protracted beast.

Unsteady trigger tongue

pointing hollow

cylindrical speech...

(Endless chatter)  clanking

silverware and ceramics.

Teeth and lengua.

Where are the trees?

Leaves carrying disaster  in the wind.

He will end   in preposition.

Without searching the hours

and their mouths

are dry with promise.

Capped inside mason jars: the long scream,

the lost toast,

the love note

purloined off cellar shelves.

Tainted vino tinto.

Tinted glass birds without warrants

arrest the silence,

the names the sky takes

when the sun is falling.

Lovely Little Fucker

The two of us sit like large unopened bandages.

Tightly bound fabric strips around

a child’s folding chair. Wire hangers

coiled create human armatures.

The curves of guitars and rifles

map the intersection of my words.

Then belittling ends.

You sheathed in bright yarn.

Gift-wrapped boulder for the lake.

I never loved—lost child

The slow rupture of capillary.

Winding and winding

in my head: betrayal.

A ritual of flight and fight,

of weaving without looms.

Mystery provokes speculation.

Tangle me on your tongue:

My lovely little fucker.

Say it like you mean it.

Upbraiding our fingers: Silk patterns.

The mole we both have on the middle

is a spider web of culture.

Confusing builder’s home and death trap.

Solitude will be the somber confirmation,

entire traditions invalidated by failure.

What you kept coming back to:

Color, texture, swirly adventuring.

The codified set of knives behind my smile.

Indistinguishable in many ways

from the extraction of gin from a cocktail.

Today I hold images of science: of nests, you,

neural wiring. My completed self teasingly visible.

How do I untangle this dark revelation

when every single part of me is lost?

To the great spasms of cruelty

punctuating the air we breathed:

The belligerence of impulse,

words slapped against your cheek.

Staging The Invisisble

“Tears are liquefied brain”

—Samuel Beckett

Except for the odd ha-ha here and there,

A little stream or brook

you can ghost-read love me

into the last (and negated word)

I would like my love to die.

We crave enchantment

even though it makes us gullible.

The etymology of attraction

has to do with the lure,

a song of a fish at the end of a line.

She lives now in a foreign version

of growing together.

Agit ensemble (if we truly grow).

Maybe fleeing east

from the islands of sensibility,

we’ve pulled ourselves into a lie.

We scoundrels of the world.

Re-adjusted apertures.

My door remains imperceptibly ajar.

All at once, a foreboding shadow:

Staging the invisible.

If the latter is lucky, blessed with an eye,

our lives our endless.

The way a cat is about the house.

Our language consists of silence.

The language of action:

A slamming door, a cup of water to the face.

Silent figures still. Aren’t altogether read.

Love, a clumsy retreat.

A dog and a cat sharing a basket.

A caged parrot and a bowled fish,

sharing a tiny table.

Wars arise for lesser things,

to overdo the sign of undoing. How many times?

How mathematics help us to know ourselves.