my master is an old innkeeper, rich.
his reach, vast.
i serve him,
but the choice was mine.
i hold him harmless, and celebrate him.
the ghosts and the quick come here tonight.
my love stretches gossamer wisps ’cross the banquet hall, and
almost unsure at first, it sidles up, then
i find you.
i know you all.
i know what you want before you even do.
i am the hand of your host.
allow me to help you.
perhaps we will converse much later.
if you invite me.
fattening the calf
i know you at the head, the end, and those flanking sides.
i measure your silverware, scatter red petals across the cloth,
pour your water, bitters, coffee, tea to delight (and bursting).
from one point to another of table—the plates, crystal, and
cruets my work, direction, and diligence.
what do you say of the evening’s elegance?
your study is war, to wage it, or to remain wary at peace.
will you ladies and lords content yourselves with a digestif?
in the library—over brandies, cream sherries—much older than i,
the genghis khan, the kshatriya sage, and bearded mahomet in white.
do i dare regale them with the tale of my last breathing night?
to eat a peach
there was my papí and his manzanilla—can you tell me why
childhood was so lonely, when you gave me everything?—
when you and mamí never tired of holding me?—
was i dropped on my head?
did you even really like me? or did you love your work instead?
that night, i received the luxury,
the four horseman gallop in time with my heart.
know, i came to serve in exchange for one.tiny.part.
when the luxury comes home to you—the black cat making you her own,
or the hawk in possession of her prey, no explanations are
due to you — you give thanks, and
you give the gift of breath for kingship over the animal parade.
now run. to begin, i like you better that way.