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2 Poems

E. R. Pulgar


You move on Monday
To Barcelona,
No thought
To Sitges
Or the crowns we wore
Or the wet underwear
At Platja de Sant Sebastià
Or the day you lay on me
Or that years later
It's still on my mind
How you dreamed
Of bottoming on the Barceloneta
For strange men
With the false hope
In your broken Spanish
And well-used jugular
That one of them
Might treat you well.
Didn't I try my best
To treat you well
When you held my hand
And talked about your boyfriend
And kissed my neck
And talked about your boyfriend
And went out into the sea
With cheap sangria in your system
After telling me you once
Tried to drown yourself
With the knowledge
That you'd leave me
Still sometimes afraid
To let myself feel for men
What I let you rule despotic,
My Antinous, drowned in salt.


An over-the-counter Santera
Pointed you out
Amongst frankincense and rose-scented candles:
A sale on syncretism.
Patron saint
Of lost causes,
To be invoked when there’s no hope,
Hold a torch for me!
Brought into my house
To lower the electric bill,
Lit loyally each night
To witness me
Going from lover to lover
Drowning them
In silver blanket oceans—
Hold a torch for me!
Lit a candle for my mother
At Saint John the Divine,
Haven’t been to mass
In two years,
Terrified of saintly statues,
Of frowning looks—
Promised I would visit
“Por mi mami, por mi abuela,”
But I am holiest on my mattress,
Eating 3 a.m. noodles
Reading Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,”
Giving roses to beautiful people,
Kissing, when they allow—
Blissful Jude,
I’ll light your candle,
But I don’t need your prayers.

E.R. PULGAR is a Venezuelan-American poet, promoter, and music journalist living in Brooklyn. He was raised in Miami and picked up his parent’s copy of Pablo Neruda’s Odas elementales around the same time he picked up an issue of Rolling Stone. His music and culture writing has appeared in Billboard, Remezcla, PAPER, Office Magazine, and V Magazine. An occasional host at the Bowery Poetry Club, he is working on his debut collection, Liturgy. His writing deals with love, loss, Latinidad, and the intersection of all three.