A Poem by Francisco Márquez
Author: Poetry Editor
May 18, 2016
This week, a poem by Francisco Márquez.
after Louise Glück
I didn’t want you kissing me,
take your hand off my hand,
press my wrists against the sheets,
hammer my hair, gag my mouth like this.
Stop. Can’t you see that I’m trying
to get past your body behind me—
your forehead kiss, your German tongue?
I’m putting myself behind me,
the man next to me on the train,
the man that makes the bagels,
the fireman sitting on the coffee shop stoop
and crying, they all should be fucking me,
not you. Now, whenever
I’m walking these streets, the wind
hugs me and fucks me, the right way,
the way the sun feels like butter on toast
and the city’s pulse pulses like a crotch.
It loves me like the wreck I am
and it wants to see me crawling like a child.
This wind is a father, and it wants me on my knees,
tonguing it softly. I want to think there is no such thing
as tenderness, that love should feel like a train
running backwards or a car spinning on ice, but
I’m not a monster. I need
to see the day you walk past me, turn
twice, nod at yourself and say, “No,
it couldn’t have been. I thought he left the city.”
FRANCISCO MÁRQUEZ is a Venezuelan poet in Brooklyn. His work can be found in The Offing, poets.org, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a John McKay Shaw Academy of American Poets award, and is a 2016 Saltonstall Colony for the Arts fellow. He is an MFA candidate at New York University.