Schadenfreude by José Luis Gutiérrez

This morning I shaved
to make up for mutilating
my aloe plant
to soothe a burn
in the shape of Africa
on my right thigh,
more and more
these subtractions
compute my days,
the bleached coral
my car’s bottomless guzzling yields
the only addition,
which makes as much sense
as trading bull for bear markets,
a desert for the Pacific Ocean,
to trim back the branches of the oak tree
in the driveway before they get
tangled in the wires
must be against the Geneva accord
if you’re an animist,
nevermind hamburgers and fries,
though the day swift looms
where I’ll be minus-ed
from the eververse
of trees-birds-sea and sky.
Today I will slay the sun
to harness its shadow

 


José Luis Gutiérrez is a San Francisco-based poet. His work has appeared in Eratio, Scythe, Margie, Poemeleon, Cortland Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Xavier Review, DMQ, Jetfuel, Caliban, Kestrel and in the anthologies Mutanabbi Streets Starts Here and 99 Poems for the 99 Percent and is forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg Review and Chiron Review, among others. His first poetry collection, A World Less Away, was published in 2016.