The 2River View 15.3 (Spring 2011)

Jose Angel Araguz

Hansel to his muse

I do not know why
I give the earth these phrases,
Sounds, thoughts,
All broken off in pieces
That trail behind

Do I expect to find my way,
To look back and have it all
Come together, or will I see
That I have led myself into darkness

Listen — each footstep
Cackles with the words
Of twigs and dry leaves

Hold me, sister,
And tell me when we are almost there,
When everything behind us disappears,
When home is what we walk towards

And these words are the sun
Cracking through branches,
The forest dissolving
In light.

Street Performer

Blink and you become a child,
Beholden to your eyes to tell the truth.

If seeing is believing, then God has been painted gold
And caught mid-step, yawning in New Orleans.

Blink again, and a nostril flares,
A stray hair needles into the sky.

A dollar bill falls into the cup at His feet; a camera flashes,
The sound like chewing gum smacked between teeth.

Bright arms land at His side like birds;
Somebody yells: Get a real job!

We are all witness to something of the second coming
In those slumped shoulders smoldering with light.

When we shake hands, He calls me brother and leaves gold
Glinting off my skin like flames seething to ash.

Jose Angel Araguz was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, and now lives in Eugene, Oregon. His work has been published in such journals as The Acentos Review and Rattle and featured in Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry. New work is forthcoming in Hanging Loose. (contact)