Glass Poetry Press

Volume One Issue Three

Radames Ortiz


They pronounced your death on voicemail They took your children away They fed you syringes filled with angry junk Curled spoons you heated On wintry midnights They shackled you to backyard porches They broke you under an ellipsis of stars They sold you to the calculus of need They dragged you through filthy ditches They branded you They shamed you They swelled your veins into a network of slums Your eyes once crimson and brilliant Like gilded narcotics Your smiles once twisted and meandering Like wild foliage Only to become weights of whelps Hung heavy on your face They flogged you with silence So you could scream for them They pointed with pride To the alleys you haunted for them They put dime bags in your hands So you could long for them What from the neighborhood where they've made you What from the world they've coaxed from you What angers them Making them resentful, vicious What panics them Into seizures of woozy clouds Today they shout curses at you But I only hear your long, retreating Breath So ashamed, so beautiful, so lost Your burdened voice Clashing against blunt shingles of the night