John Manuel Arias

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John Manuel Arias is a gay, first generation Costa Rican/Uruguayan poet and author returned to DC after many years. His work has appeared in Assaracus, the Journal, Sixth Finch and many others. His debut collection ‘¡I’d Rather Sink–!’ is currently looking for a new home.

 

FILM POLÍTICO

 

I watch this changing world and think how lucky we are

to have a choice in how we meet our end

 

This human race, a sweet virus necrotizing nature’s

arteries, breaking down the cellular walls of everything

 

that foolishly chose to live here, to die here

and not on another plane where it’s too cold

 

to grip onto loved ones, or too vacuous

to hear their confessions

 

I sense an atom bomb in the words you’re about to speak

and if you’re quiet for just a moment, we can both avoid

 

annihilation, another crater in the earth like the one you found

me in, digging my own grave with my teeth, crooked

 

from encountering diamantine sediment, still-warm bones

of those who look just like me, rocks, razors, radiation

 

In my veins there’s a virus that resembles us

assuaged by pills perfected by years of human experimentation

 

carving hollowed-out dimples that used to smile from

being loved, loved no longer but by Death itself

 

each of their ribs, Its scythe

cutting out, not in

 

as it normally goes

If only they knew Death’s sentence

 

would be something different, something quicker

yet more callous, or maybe more benevolent

 

because at least with my hot, permanent shadow

someone will know I was here

 

that my skinny shape printed onto a wall will say

I held out as long as I could

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