Three Poems

What if Cat Stevens was a dog person?

Someone offered me an olive branch
when all I really wanted was an olive
for my dry martini. I stared out of my balcony
with said drink in hand and saw a hipster walking
his pet salamander on a gold chain. It made me
wonder, “What if Hong Kong was the older
brother of King Kong but was petrified in battle
and then metamorphosed into a city filled with skyscrapers?”

From my balcony, I also saw an older gentleman
whom I nicknamed “Anime” because he always
wore the same outfit. Every time I saw “Anime”
walking his robotic tiger, it made me think of
buying hand churned butter in the woods.

From my balcony, I also saw the most beautiful woman
and her twin sister holding hands while walking towards
an ice cream truck. Whenever I saw them for the first time,
it made me think about the title of this poem.

 

 

 

Thus, always to tyrants

I smiled at the long legged
waitress as I handed her
an Alexander Hamilton
and an Abraham Lincoln.
Both Lincoln and Hamilton
were shot to death.
That is what I was thinking
as she took the fifteen dollars
from my left hand.
John Wilkes Booth
was thinking: sic simper tyrannis
I then pictured Aaron Burr’s
bullet ripping through Hamilton’s
abdomen and piercing
his liver and spine.
I won’t ever eat liver again
I promised myself – even
if it is served with fried
onions over white rice.
I have read that book she said
suddenly pointing
at my paperback copy
of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash
lying on the freshly wiped
white plastic counter.
I have a boyfriend her facial
features told me – physiognomy
is a form of art.
Two weeks later
as Marie’s nakedness covered my own
she asked me if I loved her.
I closed my eyes and listened
to my brother’s gramophone:
Handel’s Messiah Overture
played in the adjacent room.

 

 

 

The seamstress 

for Tita Alice

Once, my grandma’s favorite chicken couldn’t swallow.
The food would get stuck in her throat, and her throat would swell
until the food was regurgitated. My grandma decided to cut the chicken open
to see what was wrong. It turned out that the chicken had swallowed
an eggshell, so my grandma removed the eggshell that was stuck
around an area of the chicken’s large intestine. After my grandma
removed the eggshell, she sewed the chicken back up.
The chicken lived for many years afterwards.

Once, my grandma had a ghastly cut on her right leg.
Instead of going to the hospital,
she decided to sew herself back up.
My grandma made her own clothes.
She also made the clothes for all of her fourteen children,
including my mother. My grandma was an expert sewer,
so it apparently made perfect sense to her
to also sew her very own skin like if it were a summer dress.

 

 

Steve Castro’s work is forthcoming in At Length and was most recently published in Pouch Magazine; Forklift, Ohio; Green Mountains Review and Verse Daily. He’s the assistant poetry editor at decomP.

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