Ángel Garcia

STAMPEDE 

You             don’t know this horse.

That            what you love most doesn’t

have            a name, and runs wild.

Once           overcome by your guilt you

slept            in an empty field over the hill

naked          and hungry, committed the cold to

memory      how it bit into your body

one              mouthful at a time. That

night            all the small animals you’d

buried          in a shoebox, came

alive.             Told yourself, don’t be afraid.

I                     am no longer that man.

Laid               your head on the dirt

watching      as the grass begin to trill

hearing         for the first time

the                 beating in your chest—the

wild               animal beginning to gallop.


ANTIPODE II


Miles from here, in a field of cane there hangs
            a scarecrow

that resembles so closely a man that man could be
            mistaken

for your father. Or no one. Just the river crosser who
             for pesos

takes you, asking always, “why have you come back?”
             In the field,

beside the river, one summer, your father macheted
             through the stalks

to place on your tongue the first sweet thing
             you remember tasting.

The river so still now it looks as though the world
             is upside down.

You’ve come here because what you’ve dragged
             on that tow rope

with no where to anchor, thinking you were
              a better man

than him—house to house, city to city
              —is a fiery ember,

that finally, in a field of cane, will blaze into dawn.

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A CantoMundo fellow, Ángel García’s work has been included in the American Poetry Review, Miramar, Verdad Magazine, and The Acentos Review. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and is completing his first collection of poetry.