Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 2



Sergio A. Ortiz


The distance between us

feels like an iron cloud
covering all my body.
Could it be we were born
to wander forever on opposite poles?

I’m the undulating river
lying on your dreamlike Lazarus chest
oblivious to my leafless twilight.

I have patches of yellow
planted on my skin
that are not immune to cold.

Today I sing you my melody
the same as I’ll sing it tomorrow.

Maybe you're too far to taste
the gifts already savored
at our wedding banquet.
I do not care, my Lazarus,
the distance won’t make me impatient.

You sowed flower and new moon
long ago on the clear surface
of my tearful day. But now
I do not remember the color
and texture of your hair.




I know You by Your First Name

In my house
loneliness sits on an armchair,
stirs my bed sheets and opens the book
where my rival’s name is written.

Soledad, my enemy, wakes me
to injure like a tight lasso
around my neck.

I don’t take my innocence
to that well. I’m not the one
whose dawns are clouds
and poison ivy climbing
the stairs to the bedroom.

I sit alone at the breakfast table,
alone turning off the TV to pray
and receive the devil of insomnia.

My enemy ties me up
with obstinate dialogue
morning, noon, and night.
But no one can say
I don’t put up a fight.

Beyond my skin and more,
inside of my bones, I love.
Beyond my mouth and its words,
from the knot of my tormented sex,
I know I will die from nothing
other than love.




Looking Out from Where You Once Stood

The corners never turn.
No witness established
the degree of their fractured
evanescence, angles bear
the taste of swearability.

The arc of memories
arranged with patience:
bitter, moist, entangled.
A trigger that makes
the human heart bleed.

Fiction allows a corner
to be replaced (curved, bent)
so one can breathe. Answers
the real, the vacated.

Malleable, the wall
where one was cherished.
A sense of curvature stands
where once you stood.




You come to the ceremony

like the fierce link between my silence
and your equally passionate logic.

Witness the cadence bursting
inside me. Season the fire
holding the invisible threads
that keep us together
                        with a photo
            that gladdens my eyes.

The sum of all minutes,
details, unspecified corrections,
engraved in my memory.

We will not hide what unites us.

You come to my ceremony
            with a voice as wild as my silence.




Now this pain is tears

and that's okay. Ulysses
let's dance, let's love.

Flower of the sweet wind
that trapped me, branch of my grief:
make me whole, leaf by leaf.

Lull yourself in my dreams,
I clothe you with my blood,
this is your cradle.
Let me kiss you one by one,

the many men you are, foam coral,

Nestor, yes, Edwin when Andres,
let me cry and see you.

I am nothing more than tears now
and I lull you, Ulysses, cry, cry.


Sergio A. Ortiz: I am a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. My poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. My chapbook An Animal Resembling Desire will be published by Finishing Line Press."




Top of Page

Table of Contents






Visit our Facebook page          Visit us on Twitter


editors AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com
webmaster AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com