Julian Delacruz, “In Malibu”
Author: Poetry Editor
March 5, 2014
Today, two poems by Julian Delacruz.
All I know is, I got inside,
but not the way a man gets inside.
I sank into the earth with no shovel
where I became dim and agreeable.
For once, the sound of the lyre did not strike
and the sun couldn’t sink low enough to follow.
I was allowed, finally, to taste umbra.
And then I began to remember
because I did not yet drink
from the river,
what kind of person you were.
A chaser of things, a lover of beautiful things.
You would run after as if losing me
meant losing the rest of your life.
So I sat in hell’s burning throat,
wondering what love note would pool
at the back of your throat,
how you would reach the gate of hell,
how you would open the gate of hell
to sway the gods.
And how I would dread the embarrassing song
that you would sing. That you would actually sing me back
when you have the arms to cast off the lidded earth
for the impossible journey alone.
In Malibu you left me waxing Sapphic on a cliff:
sandy dunes, rocks, sea moss,
vertigo of clouds, sun like faded china.
I always said I would die in California.
When I watched you impale another man’s mouth
I fell asleep behind your car.
I waited for the wheel to break me,
hibernating like a bear in despair
in the hollow cave of your driveway.
I used to think the Pacific was a beautiful steel sheet.
Now what lies between us is an inner malice of the sea.
The ants are eating me alive.
I’m not your Ariel. I’m not the bedpost you have sex against.
I’m a moth on a light fixture in a subway.
JULIAN DELACRUZ is a New Jersey native. He has interned at The Paris Review and PEN American Center, and is currently finishing his study of poetry at Bennington College in Vermont.