The Acentos Review May 2012
2 Prose Poems

Shadow of a Blue Butterfly on a Cobblestone Street

My skull is a cave of dreams, a dugout canoe transporting your naked breasts.  In the palms of my hands, the archipelago of our thousands of days and nights together recedes.   

Once again, your spikes pierce my temples and thorns tear into my sides.  And I run like an abandoned mongrel caught in the rain, stopping only to shake the rain drops away.

I barely manage to survive in this city of ashes floating from your burnt portraits.  Under this green-going-to-rust bridge, I watch the swallows dart in and out of their mud nests.

In my mind, your slumbering eyelids appear.  They quiver with dreams I will never touch, until I realize you are only the shadow of a blue butterfly on a cobblestone street.  

Traveling with an infant who does not have a ticket
 For Sasha, the magical infant of friends

At the Atlanta airport, while on layover, an old woman painfully un-wrapped the cellophane from her turkey sandwich.  She chewed with her eyes closed as if even eating were a struggle.  A young, blond woman blotted away the tears from her flushed checks, barely stopping. 

Over the PA system, the announcer asked for passengers traveling with an infant who does not have a ticket to check in at the counter.  Sasha, I thought about how peacefully you slept despite the summer sun on a blanket on the beach in North Carolina under your blue floppy hat. 

While I sat in the surf, wave after green wave collapsed over my fatigued body.  A boy flew an orange kite over the shoreline.  It had a long tail of many colors.  On the horizon, in an arc of a breeze, a sailboat skimmed the surface.  Its white hull seemed cool and crisp in the dazzling sunlight pouring down, a drizzle of magic that I caught in the palm of my hand.

Driving home, Sasha, it rained so hard your mother pulled over.   In the ditch, the purple thistles bowed before the lightening that spread across the sky like an illuminated backbone.  Buffeting winds rocked the old, red Volvo while I sat in the back.   In a drop of rain, on the side window, your tiny face was reflected upside down and then pooled with the others out of sight.
Mario Duarte lives in Iowa City, Iowa and is a alumnus of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of New Hampshire. He is a distance member of the Latino Writers Collective based in Kansas City. Mario has published poems in the American Poetry Review, Bryant Literary Review, Broken Plate, Carolina Quarterly, Eclipse, languageandculture, Palabra, Rock Rockhurst Review, Shadowbox, Sycamore Review, Slab, and Steel Toe Review, among others, and has work forthcoming in Dicho and Passages North. Currently, he is working on a manuscript of poems and a manuscript of short stores.