Juan Delgado



Stumble past the apparent,
Your sister is the next family jewel.

Are they hinges or voices swinging the office doors
Open to speeches ending in a handshake?

Step through the hallway,
Past the half-grin of recognition,
Necktie-stiff, and your boss, both a target
And a reward, a signature for check stubs.

Notice the neck vein pulsing under the wall clock
And eyelids twitching, keeping time.

What narrows the vision to a set of routines
Done with the attentiveness of sharp scissors?
Whose fur will you cut, then frame for your bedroom?

The spine’s bulge dulls the feeling of your fingertips.
The pile of papers on your desk spin, the tiniest tornado of ideas
And emotions floating, never quite touching down,
And enlightening you to their intentions like the rudest renters.

Don’t worry,
Your index fingers can read out loud
The heading of the office stationary.
The date goes there, the titles, and addresses go there.
There is comfort in knowing the key phrases,
The tone for your human dealings.

Tap your space bar,
Call up your screen saver,
A photo of a glacier in Alaska,
A giant mouth of teeth,
Some decaying while dark rivers run through
And beneath, spilling into a bay, darkening
The clear water with its silt, ash color.
Stand back as the water spills over your keyboard and desk,
Running down its legs to the floor where it slaps
The tiles loud as a father’s angry open hand,
Then spreads out into a pool seeking the lowest ground,
Gathering to mirror your face again, Gregor.