The river likes to flood the city—
licking facades, tasting the marrow
of buildings, concrete surfaces
swallowing streets, sidewalks.
And you, dry as an arroyo, you
wait at your hotel desk, counting raindrops,
wavering with your inverted face
elongating down the window panes.
Beyond: a semi-truck, a white buffalo
gallops across the wind-flaying highway.
He stops for stares, bellows, and us,
nostrils flaring, eyes bloody.
Will the stars rain again? Why not?
They will carve a treaty on his hide.
What conditions can we expect?
Nothing less than butchering.
We are all drifting down dark rapids,
legs floating upside down, head underwater,
until the bloated underbelly explodes
and everyone is left breathless.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Duarte is a Latinx writer born, raised and living in the US Midwest. He is an Academic Advisor at the University of Iowa and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems and short stories have appeared in aaduna, the Arachne Press, Carnival, Chicago Literati, Corazón Land Review, Hinchas de Poesía, Medusa’s Laugh, Rigorous, Slab, Huizache, RavensPerch, Steel Toe Review and Storyscape.