Am I poet or paper, my soul asks in the cruel infinite
night of the sea that is never serene…
~ Manuel Ramos Otero, ‘Invitación al Polvo’
Manuel, seductive arch
of a bay, a drop descending
on the half-light, feet circling
my suicide hour.
We were tangueros
of the same tile, tropical
byway, creek mist,
and love’s insomnia under Venus.
Dancers with the white
silent breeze of despair.
Boleristas take their stilettos
for a stroll while you burn your tongue,
nail it to your pride.
All you neutered men
and women frightening children
playing in schoolyards, I spit on you.
I am the Maga flower, and you’re nothing
but a simple invitation to dust.
~ Sergio A. Ortiz
Sergio A. Ortiz is the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. He also came second place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz Annual Poetry Competition sponsored by Alaire publishing house. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, ‘Elephant Graveyard’.