Two poems by Gus Sanchez

Alma Solitaria

A thought,
riding shotgun, a blank
in the chamber, pointed at my heart:
That summer, when the rains never stopped, the rain
soundtracked our life so far, we all bathed
in the dull wash of mother’s milk
All I could do was worry
Someone else’s children, coming up for air, a tiny fist clutching
a wooden totem, una alma solitaria, it said
a hand-me down?
a curse to ward off good spirits?
I asked the priest to hear my confession
“Throw your pillow away” was his reply

Perimeter Patrol

On sweet and sticky summer
nights like this, the cat and I
patrol the perimeter of
our house

He, for rodents and other prey
too stupid to hide from
predators; Me, for flowers
that bloom after midnight in
a garden I once planted and
forgot to water

I make plans to meet friends
for brunch, but I’d rather do brunch
alone, just the Sunday paper
and a Bloody Mary that’s the
perfect cure for a hangover, no
avocado toast, no gentrification-
hungry hipsters

The cat leaves a present for me
on the back porch, the
thrill of the hunt evident in the
way he field-dresses whatever it was

We’ll make plans to move out
west, the cat and I, her forwarding
address committed to memory, though
I doubt she still lives there


Gus Sanchez has been writing poetry, short stories, and experimental non-fiction for the better part of two decades. His poems have been published in various literary magazines and journals, including Tilde, Thirty West Publishing, Indie Affair, Last Chapter Journal, and Uno Kudo Press. Born in New York City, he currently resides in Charlotte, NC, with his wife, daughter, and one stoic beagle.

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