David Campos



David Campos is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is a CantoMundo fellow and the author of Furious Dusk (Notre Dame Press 2015), winner of the Andres Monotya Poetry Prize.  His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Luna Luna, Boxcar, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse among many others. He teaches English at Fresno City College and College of the Sequoias.

Gathering Magic

            After Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again

            After Magic The Gathering

Music on loop is a counter spell–
tap three earth mana
summon one guardian;
he has haste. He moves on
lost again
at the beginning.
Guitar strings writhe a triplet of notes
in a chord around my throat
while I undo the premade deck.
to make my own, ruin
the careful and thought out plan
because I think I am wiser
for listening to the song over
and over until its lost
all its meaning and power
over me. Some creatures have
flight. A Platinum Angel means
you can’t lose the game.
I only have one
in a protective sleeve
in a box deep inside
my closet with everything else
waiting to be summoned
with a kick and a snare
my voice recites lyrics.
Tap two water mana.
Summon a great mist
from my eyes, a defensive maneuver
like keeping a song on loop
to revisit each rhythm’s memory
of something lost.
You’ve built a black deck
to resurrect. Breath used
to be a symbol for life.
Then a heart beat.
Then brain waves.
I repeat this game in my hands–
the trouble of order. I break
spells lost in the cacophony
in my headphones. Calm
visits me when I no longer hear
the song blasting against my eardrums,
but my inhales, the thuds of my heart
inside my chest. This forgetting is temporary.
Tap four swamps. Return to yourself.

©The Acentos Review 2017