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[1] Two poems.

This Could Have Happened

Some guy in red-and-white hooded jacket,

beard in bedraggled dress,

stood on a corner of Chicago's Magnificent Mile

during peak Christmas shopping days

as wet snow drifted about his ears

and the red in his cheeks froze on his face:

In his hands was a sign that read:

Will sell books for food.

And every once in a while he'd look at the sign

as if something were missing,

wondering why nobody

was taking him up on the Offer.

Questions for Which You Are Always the Answer

For Maria Tinidad, "La Trini"

Whose Jalisco harangues the Jalisco in my stroll;

who lays across the ruins of Teotihuacan like


whose face outlines the bathroom walls of

who is the aguardiente that tongues my callused



What sleep becomes the dexterous hand of


what skin is the lodestone of desire;

what song is fusion between a woman's walk

and sunrise;

what drunkenness befalls while falling into

those native eyes;

what stitching collects the shreds of midnight


Who says what only solace can say,

what only mariachi's horns and good mescal can

What bones lift this face to a face of lovely bones;


what moist fingers straighten the collars of


what evening wind arouses the color in blood,

pretending the wet in water;

what voice is chocolate icing?

How deep are the potholes of lust;

how necessary is the milk of that touch;

how perpetual is the distance of thighs;

how vaginal is the soul's vortex?

Trini, you know what I can't know:

what tempest gathers in my lungs.

These poems are from LUIS RODRIGUEZ'S most recent poetry collection, Trochemoche, published by Curbstone Press in 1998. Rodriguez is a recipient of an Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, a Lila Wallace--Reader's Digest Writers Award, a Lannan Fellowship for Poetry, and a Public Service Award from the National Association of Poetry Therapy. He is also founder/director of Tia Chucha Press, the publishing wing of Chicago's Guild Complex.
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Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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