Anuel Rodriguez


Anuel Rodriguez is a Mexican-American poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He grew up reading comic books and listening to hip-hop. His poetry has appeared in Glass: Poets Resist and The Road Not Taken

Annihilation of Blue


I didn’t know that blue was my favorite sound

until I was already a grown man.

Blue was the color of my neighborhood’s enemies.

But they were only ghosts dressed

in the same brown skins as us.

The graffiti growing on fences and walls

lacked blue like cave paintings

from two thousand years ago.

I once tried to make my own blue paint

out of water, river stones,

and broken car window glass.

Blue was the sound of peacock cries

refracting at the edges of my mind.

A few times I collected their feathers

and ground them up, but there was

no blue in what was left behind.

Blue was the sound of blood.

Blue was the color of death in our lungs.

On summer days, I would extract blue

from the azure sky until it became

white and colorless to me.

At night, roaming men with pistols

would shoot into that black transparency

until it was riddled with bullets

that would fall back to Earth like space capsules.

Blue was the sound of trauma.

Blue was the color of the wet-stained dreams

we let hang out to dry under the bone-white sun.

We fought our enemies until the word blue

no longer existed and neither did we.




My Father Isn’t Logan

My father told me he always wanted

to build a grandfather clock to put at the end


of the hallway with carpet that is the same

color as faded blue sky. He said he'd scavenge


for the pendulum and clock parts at local flea markets,

antique shows, and swap meets. It feels like a cluster


of memories I carry that was never breathed to life.

I can see myself as a young boy helping him


build his grandfather clock in his image.

Now his hair is graying and I feel like if I blink,


it’ll turn white like his father’s. His body doesn't heal

as rapidly as it once did. He spends hours in his


garage workshop putting his idle hands to use.

Maybe what he really wants to build is a time machine


to rewind the days back to before my mother’s

rheumatoid arthritis turned her bones into glass.


Back to before her cries echoed through the home

he built for us. Back to before her disease took away


the unformed dreams of my siblings. Someone once

told me that our parents are supposed to be our superheroes.


In that case, maybe it's the metal poisoning my father.

I never asked him if it hurts every time his


retractable claws come out. One day they'll probably

turn into bone. For now, I’ll fold my fears in silence

and watch the pendulum inside his chest swing towards

the future light of his ticking heart. I hope he does


build his grandfather clock someday. And I hope

I'm there to help build it with him. Maybe I’ll ask him


if he ever feels like me. Maybe then I'll feel less like

an adult only child with homesick skin


—a melted clock dripping over the edge of itself—

a detonation waiting to catch up to its fragments.

The Acentos Review 2019