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Sergio Ortiz/Undertow Tanka Review

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. His Chapbook An Animal Resembling Desire will be published by Finishing Line Press. Ortiz is the editor of Undertow Tanka Review.

Two Months After Hurricane Maria


And the world
with its own blood.
The wind blew away
sanity and today
we pull against
the riptide.
Time and space,
wooden shacks,
flew in an unknown
and love lied
on the image
of a moon
tired of

night undressed
and all could see
her nakedness
she stopped weeping
and wailing
over lost paths
to rescue
what was left of her
pride, seaports, airspace,
enslaved hearts,
and raised fist
without knowing
the shackles
were so heavy
that even her silence
had toppled

And if I
were to expand
to the point
of bursting
into thousands
of pieces,
if my suffering
should reach
that level
do not sanction
my heart
or my body
do not let me
into nothingness
like an insignificant
hot gas

toilet paper
or disposable towels…
insensitive son
of a bitch— do we really need
to kiss your presidential ass?
can we afford
another one hundred and nineteen
years of insults,
grave diggings, war deaths
and stupidity?

Remoteness Songs

The mute weave the air
with their silent lingo
they tell stories in gothic
songs about remoteness.

I see them late at night
casting their hands to the wind
like gypsy moths, or mills,
or flocks of pigeons.

They listen to the language
of night in the pond behind my house.
Fly, raise your hands!

Sing about the darkness
in my eyes. Brush your lips
against my nape.

Undertow Tanka Review

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