poem index


Orlando Ricardo Menes

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Orlando Ricardo Menes

Orlando Ricardo Menes is the author of Heresies (University of New Mexico Press, 2015); Fetish (University of Nebraska, 2013), winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize; and Furia (Milkweed Editions, 2005). His latest book, Memoria, is forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press in 2019. He teaches at the University of Notre Dame.

by this poet

Hair tells family secrets, like lips and skin:
my chestnut curls and waves that intractable
thicket—one month’s tropical growth—
Mamá called maleza de manigua,
jungle scrub.  What will the neighbors think?

Locked in the bathroom, I brushed hard
against the grain—pig bristles, nylon quills
South of Plaza Mayor by Plaza de Cascorro—
past streets named Lettuce, Raisin, Barley—
is Madrid’s outdoor market called El Rastro,
hundreds of stalls, lean-tos, tents squeezed tight
as niches where anything from a clawfoot tub, 
to a surgeon’s saw to a tattered La Celestina
bound in sheepskin could be