Two Poems by Sergio Ortiz

Bare Embers

You, naked

stretch out on my skin

like a hill bitten by the sun.

The fruit slips, grows, swells,

it burns. At six in the mirror

you enter me

as the most expectant guest,

simple as a river of light.

You cover me with your man skin.


You, the tongue that runs through my veins

to silence me. You take my eyes off

painfully and give me two other arms

with which to weigh your inner thighs.

Your mouth drizzles on my neck.

You scratch my back and write your name.

You talk to me with your bones.

My moan,

the longest sound you’ll hear tonight.


When we are alone, still naked,

when everything is over,


it hails.

The air has just discovered us.


There were windy streets

and cold suns on my skin,

his wounds still shiver inside me,

and days that came from death

to cast his face in every hour,

a soldier lost in the ice of his Gulag,


who forgot the why and where

of survival. Eyes seeking the slipstream

of trains opened to the void.

Birds bequeathed their footprints

on his snowy back.


My eyes have not seen him,

the memory of streets that come

from night and run parallel to death.

I, the exhausted soldier,

the residue of undefeated battles.


*for the children murdered with chemical weapons in Syria


20170125_171351Sergio A. Ortiz is a Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. He is currently working on his first full length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.


Leave a Reply