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Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





not really an uncle
but my mother's second cousin
but me & my cousins called him Tio
he sat on the rocking chair all day
taught the parrot to talk
say bad words after people's names
smoked handrolled cigarettes
blew huge smoke rings
that floated unbroken to the ceiling
he sat & rocked & drank espresso
every time my aunt Silvia brewed it
after the revolution       he got recruited
to cut sugracane in the fields
the work took a thin man & made
him thinner killed him
after his death my aunt
didn't let anyone sit in his chair
and when she brewed coffee
she always poured a little
in his cup & left it by the chair
my aunt Silvia claimed
Isidoro moved through the house
as a sapo     we never believed
her until we heard
a bullfrog croak & then the parrot
stirred awake & called out
Isidoro's name

© by Virgil Suarez


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