“Ashes and Tears,” “Walking Daffodil (Midnight in Poet City)” and “Reanimation”

“Ashes and Tears,” “Walking Daffodil (Midnight in Poet City)” and “Reanimation”

Ashes and Tears

She anoints discontented worlds

her claws preening her feathers,

with soft snores tinged by night-light

Enchanted by Mexican seeds,

she exerts vulnerable chirps

from a closed, sharp-slicing beak

They say the world is mere ashes

and tears but sputtering words

spasm her eyes into darkness

One day a leaf fell in her ear

gleaming with frost-dagger light,

or so she dreamed with eyes open

If a leaf sings, a tree shudders

If rocks walk, rivers argue

If rain dances, fishes clap

Her tail is a twelve-pointed star

of blood-shot truth that sprouts light

from rumpled, dangling feathers

Walking Daffodil (Midnight in Poet City)

Under the vast, milky splash,

Daffodil strides, wolf-like,

leading me by the leash.

Our heads escape the snare,

grasp of pawing branch shadows

outlined by fuzzy moonlight

In our uncorrupted dream,

sidewalks swell with knee-deep leaves,

others sail, scrap the streets.

Daffodil’s tags ring against

her collar, transporting us

over waves of found time.


At dusk, the shadows

of white on black rocks

walk, beside me, home.

A weeping willow

brushes her long hair

away from her face.

A giant horsefly

whinnies on his thin,

half-dangling kneecaps.

About the Author

Mario Duarte

Mario Duarte is a Senior Academic Advisor at the University of Iowa and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems and short stories have appeared in aaduna, Chicago Literati, Hinchas de Poesía, Huizache, Lunch Ticket, Pank, RavensPerch, Rigorous, Storyscape, and Typishly.