The Iowa Review - - CONTENTS - Mike Soto

The first time I saw Death, her dress was a trip wire. I found a man slumped un­der the branches of a huizache, held hostage by the heat to its shade, his hand over the wound in his stom­ach like a lid that must throt­tle. He didn’t ask for help or water. He looked up, gave me the lame bird of his hand­shake. Whis­pered for me to sit down next to him. So I could see what he was see­ing: in the dis­tance a city un­der­wa­ter, a skinny lady sev­er­ing the sil­ver thread with her scythe.

A dung bee­tle climbed out of the dead man’s mouth. He let his last breath sail, & it was the horned kind we used to find belly up af­ter they bat­tered their bod­ies against the wall of our house. Even if you won’t hear me out, I plucked it from his lips, did what we did back then—leash its horn with twine, took it for a walk, & in the end, that was the spark that led me to a tun­nel lit by flu­o­res­cent miles of thought, shrines to Malverde couched into its walls, & an orange Dat­sun wait­ing where an ac­tual road be­gan.

Got out of the Dat­sun, found my­self at the bot­tom of a day lit up by the bark­ing of dogs that ap­peared on roofs of ev­ery house, trick­sters came out of cor­ners sell­ing hits they called, El fin de tu culo. The more I kept go­ing, the deeper into the noise I got. A woman showed me the dance of death tat­too on her in­ner thighs, & I knew I was in Su­midero. By dusk that was me soar­ing up­side down, spun in the sky from a pole wear­ing the wings of an eagle, & only that woman with eyes the color black if it bled could talk me down.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.