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Tito Manuel Dreams of the Author in the Jungle

Albert Abonado

On the ground, a man writes
with a palm leaf names
I assume belong to the dead.
Names I do not recognize
except my own. I ask him
why are you writing
so close to the war?
He says he is building
a house he intends to fill
with rice and lightning.
I want him to be more
specific, but I have already
forgotten who is dreaming,
if I am a young man having
a dream about an uncle who has
fallen through the jungle or the
trees sharing a dream about two
men whose bones are eventually
polished by a small lizard.
I am often uncertain about
the direction of my dreaming.
He cuts open a fish and draws
my face on its tiny bones, asks
if I would eat my face.
He says most men in my
condition have been known to
eat themselves. They start
with the mouth, because they
have never known the taste
of themselves consuming themselves,
surprised such moments resemble
a small house covered in salt.
All I can remember of
my own home are its holes.
Perhaps I lived inside a perforation
or was a piece of iron that punctured
a wall and claimed the damage
as my own, where only enough
light is available to read
a thumbprint when I awaken.

Albert Abonado

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