Otra Marias and Ice Workers
Otra Maria works the laundromat
While her boyfriend the Iceworker
Picks up and puts down
Irrigation pipe two at a time.
They both can remember
Their teacher taking them
To see a sick poet read
From his final notebooks
Detailing the problems
And insights of someone
Drunk with the sick blood
And wine of the same
central valley. The more he thinks
The less sure he is. The more
She thinks the more she is assured.
They search through the water
of blue tongues for a reflection,
Only this ice worker is left here
To remember that night, every
Night. This ice worker is left alone
Waiting for an otra Maria
Who doesn't work at the laundromat.
Someone whose boyfriend won't come
To take cash from her register
Or have to leave her window
Open for her friends to crawl
Through after throwing
A beating on some pobrecito
Who probably didn't then
Again maybe did deserve it.
Nine planets of marias, oceanic and
Musical depths, you were too young
And ignorant to ignore. An otra Maria
Is always there and to them
You must always say yes.
An otra Maria for those of us
Whose fastest horse ran
The wrong way, those who
Will stake the underdog
And still feel horse kicked
Right in the chest when they
Lose. Both hinds thrusting
Rear without any friction
In the voice from the deep
Purple apple of her throat.
The Programmer Writes an Algorithm for the After Life
If the only explanation for extinction
Sudden or slow extinguishing
Of each distinct person and species
Is the same as when I swat a fly
Or step on a spider,
From nowhere the original
Deus ex Machina
Then something must be invented
Words must written
As a stay against that swarming
Zero summer in the traphouse
The rarest of all that can said and heard
The unbelievable seen and then there’s you
Your gift has always been to make me notice
And care even when I didn't want to care
Because I know to care is more than love
And to care leaves me shieldless
Helmetless, head bowed while you open
Your treasured storage of weapons
Index finger to your lips
as you make your choice.
Paul Sanchez is a Fresno State MFA student trying to get some poems published. His poems can be found in the San Joaquin Review, the Undercurrent, the CWAA journal 'Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets,' the Scene and Heard Journal and the PACIFIC Review. He is also, poetry reader for The Normal School and officer for Chicanx Writers and Artists.
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