Two Poems

by Daniel Aristi Issue: Spring/Summer 2020

Gone my saint (Gun XIII)                                     

The good man’s dog only ate bread – the good man himself drank only water.  Sometimes, pigeons landed on his shoulders. Clutching at his shirt they’d try hard to medevac him as if saying, enough, he’s not for you. He’d leave in the elevator a scented candle presence for days. Had he been a Transformer, he’d turn into a Prius. Everyone else was broken, and spoke in broken china – a crashing teacup for ‘no,’ a plate shattering for ‘fuck,’ a teaspoon, shining, marked the lie. What was the oblique power of his finely crafted hands on my chin? None. But he floored me time and again on a bed of daisies. Birds peck at and scar the sweetest fruit, Gran would say when picking cherries. That’s how I choose to think of his half-chest unlocked red suddenly by an automatic rooftop lightning.  The sweetest fruit pecked and pierced. His scent. His word. 

El perro del hombre bueno comía sólo pan – el hombre bueno mismo sólo bebía agua. A veces las palomas se le posaban en los hombros. Agarrándole la camisa trataban de evacuarlo como diciendo, ‘ya basta, él no es para Ustedes’. Dejaba detrás en el ascensor una fragancia de vela perfumada durante días. Si hubiera sido un Transformer, se hubiera vuelto un Prius. Todos los demás estaban rotos, y hablaban en porcelana rota – una taza de té que se rompe para ‘no’, un plato que se quiebra para ‘joder,’ una cucharilla, brillando, marcaba la mentira. ¿Cuál era el poder oblicuo de sus finas manos en mi barbilla? Ninguno. Pero yo acababa en el suelo cada vez, en una cama de margaritas. ‘Los pájaros picotean y hieren la fruta más dulce,’ decía la abuela cuando elegía cerezas. Así es como he preferido pensar acerca de su medio pecho abierto rojo de repente por un rayo automático desde la azotea. La más dulce de las frutas punzada y herida. Su aroma. Su palabra.   

Mean white kids said:                                

One of those human
evolution charts on a t-shirt, like five stages,
from ape to Homo Sapiens:
only the last one was US American – 
was riding a skateboard;
One-to-four, Mexican.
Four, sprinting all hunchbacked at night
through a border thick with huizache
Three, mi abuela maravillosa, bang en el medio
in the middle, con Dios, los knuckles occasionally
on the ground, maybe – but knees clean always
she’d told me.



Daniel Aristi

Daniel Aristi was born in Spain. He studied French Literature as an undergrad (French Lycée in San Sebastian). He now lives and writes in Brussels. Daniel's work is forthcoming or has been recently featured in Main Street Rag, Santa Clara Review, and great weather for MEDIA.