Sergio Ortiz



The Shop

This afternoon it will rain.

I will wrap my fingers around your neck

and submerge you in water.

You will kick and wiggle out of desperation,

you won't let go of life voluntarily.

You're driven to wake-up and turn-on

the coffee percolator in your remodeled

kitchen. Driven to fill the pantry and read

the New York Times. You must find out

if Justice Sotomayor was confirmed,

if swine flu mutated in North Korea.

Driven to give your wife multiple orgasms,

you’re afraid she'll copulate with another man,

a neighbor, maybe the woman she talks to

about how little you please her. I will tighten

my fingers around your neck and cut off the air.

Your eyes will bulge, handcuffs will tear

the flesh around your wrists. You'll be seconds

from pissing in your pants.

This afternoon you'll give in to me

for as long as I want, wherever I want,

here, in the Calvin Klein mannequin display.






There is no simple, muddled
way of getting misplaced

in the city: too many signs,
landmarks, and directions.

I'd run, no walk, to be lost
then found in miniscule

so minor strangers turn

their heads and ignore
my mismatched shoes.




Touch Me

press and softly churn
the crevices


            draw me who I was

in spring


sable brush


of a field


don't look away


gather flowers
where horizons disappear


slide down my shoulder

like a thin strap


touch me





When the connection with green was severed,
concrete steps leading to fiber-glass sliding doors
at gas stations near our homes, became churches.

Asylums filled and bakeries were outlawed.
Inmates crowded lunchrooms and refused to eat,
lobbying for tougher corruption laws. Politicians rioted.

Tibetan ritual music blasted out of loudspeakers
in fields where we buried idols. Flood, drought,
and energy needs set the price of what was sacred.

Excess comfort outstretched its hands.
Hungry, we raised our eyes and hummed,
begging not to eat each other.

4 Poems


Ortiz has a B.A. in English literature from Inter-American University, and a M.A. in

philosophy from World University. He is a retired ESL teacher.  His poems have been published or are forthcoming in: Salt River Review, Yellow Medicine, Autumn Sky Poetry, Rust and Moth, Presence-Haiku, Shamrock, Rust and Moth, 3LightsGallery, and The Smoking Poet.  He has traveled

and worked throughout South, Central and North America.  He currently lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.