The Acentos Review


Una Noche en la Berraquera




moldy walls, brickpainted.

pressed-tin wainscoting.

beer  blood  vomit

on woodplank floors.

      shimmer of revolving disco ball.

      the glare of deathlights. 

a hissing veronica of fog sweeps over the circular stage.

            foxfire glow.  then a gloaming. 

flesh struggles to compose itself

out of mist and sweat-song. 



a gleaming shank unzips fog. crescent fingernail.

rawboned arm. bobbling stew of greasy breasts.

cold lips & smudged eyes. lizard tongue.

piranha teeth. 

            thrust of tangly pubic beard, orange-alive.

            rosy bloom, dappled thighs, slick-heavy

            portions of rump. 

rousing applause from the audience, clap-clap-whistle. 


                  The Daybroken Meat Market

                  House of Love

                  La Berraquera. 


men with razor-rug cheeks knock back

hot belts of tequila.

      crunch the magic worm, spit out

      the brittle fragments.

            pop matches blue-flaming against their teeth.

                  (real and tobacco-coffee stained, dentures

                  polydent-whiskey clean) 

men trapped in their stools

men with upward-eating eyes

men drooling idiotlike

men dancing dollar bills on fingertips

men with heartache

men that are poor

men with sore work-muscles

men with throbbing erections

men with faces buried in warm motherly breasts

men in between melting thighs

men resting in the crooks of soft and sweaty necks

crazed men flossing with stray pubic threads 

      (all conjoined in the sinful configuration, mouths window-

      wide to invite buckets of alcohol and exhale sexual thought) 

men who slave over machines

men who keep the roads rolling

men who love too much and know not how to give it. 

      men chomping on arroz con gandules, tacitos, picadillo,

      sopa de gallo, chorizo con arepa, chicharron, jugo de chocha,

      leche de tetas.


men with violence swimming in the blood, conversing with men featherlight in the head and waterlogged in the heart. 

                  (“no te voy a pegar, hombre, nosotros somos del

                  mismo polvo, me entiendes, compadre? somos

                  hombres LATINOS, somos HERMANOS todos”) 

men in pecking order arrangement, from oldest to deadest

      men with smiles eyes and ejaculating minds 

and one man in particular in the corner seat, red-eyed and

blood-weary, holding up a fan of waterstained bills, chanting

an unceasing litany, monotonous, words hurtled at him

sent back into the American air, hairy syllables that click-

clack-whirr and tumble about in his mouth like a whole set

of extra teeth, the only words his spanishspeaking brain can

process, recall, expel from drunken thought: 

                  “fuck me, fuck joo, goodnight.”

                  “fuck me, fuck joo, goodnight.” 

The Night of a Thousand Stars at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception 

Boys fumble their narrow chests,

puffing pectorals like the inflating

skins of blowfish. 

Girls stand pat with their overcooked

poise, powdery cheeks

caked by sweat. 

Nuns at the sidelines in watchful waiting,

priests in the sacristy smoking Panama

Red, and one fuzz-brained father 

in the church parking lot, arpeggios

throbbing in his head—Which sneaky

bastard will cop a feel? Which  

drooling homunculus will tickle her

ear? Which little fuck will press up

against his little girl’s thigh? 

Daddy’s knuckles go to bone against

the wheel; his anxious frown widens.

Christ, it was only yesterday 

he’s rocking her to sleep, and it seems not

long after he’s searching the aisles for

Tampax—when did her mosquito 

bites become busy wasps that stirred the top

of her shirt when she walked? He was only

thirty-three, too young for apoplexy. 

His vision blurs; his life is passing; his little girl

now wears Victoria’s Secret panties.

It’s like Damon said, schadenfreude 

brightening his face, “I’d rather deal with two

cocks than ten thousand,” because the son

of a bitch had no daughters  

to deprive him of sleep. If Daddy had the time

to spend he’d set himself square on the porch

with a double-barreled shotgun  

in his hands. He’d booby-trap the walkway

with falling knives, plant shaped charges

in the hydrangeas, pat dirt over bottomless 

pits, post benighted ninjas outside the hall,

snipers on the gutters and bazookas on

the roof, hardened grunts hanging 

from the trellis wall. And he’d give the order

to fire at will, and smoke a Toro Bravo

with a general’s stride 

as the waylaid usurpers dropped broken-field

over his Kentucky blue lawn.  Because he

recalled his own mocking years 

and the gallons of semen he’d spent, and all

the prom-queens and cheerleaders pent-up

in his head  (Why didn’t a father stop him then?) 

Trapped in his bucket seat with quivering

knees, angry at his wife for following

his deceit, and wishing  

his little girl would call him to watch her

climb the jungle gym, and not the catscratch

walls of these confounding years. 


Two Poems

Edwin Wilson Rivera

Edwin Wilson Rivera was born in New Jersey, lives in New York City, and hopes to die near the Pacific Ocean.