This week, a poem from Roberto Montes’ Grievances.




Why apologize

The name you gave me

Deranged me

Into something beautiful

To ignore

To be put to purpose

I did not deserve

To survive

When I wanted to die

Brought by blood to the surface

Like a ruddy child

Who knows he will do wrong

The wall to keep me out

Invited me


To jump

The fireman dragged my body

From one break to another

Had your laugh

When I told him

I wasn’t ready

Having come this far

To go further

Adam I was so sure

The poem was over

The fag poem

The abuelita poem

The poem where my ancestors

Explain for the fifteenth time

Why they can’t be mine

Refuse your blood

At the summoning stone

The first man

But not the last

Who thinks he has the power to decide

What should hurt

What deserves to stick around

Who decides the phantom pain

Means sorry

You are under the impression

I am using you

Dragged to your teeth

When you needed to stay

Absolutely still

Preyed on

Prayed over

The wayward tsk of strangers

A reminder

You can lead a beast

To water

But Adam

No further


ROBERTO MONTES is the author of I Don’t Know Do You, named one of the Best Books of 2014 by NPR. Grievances is forthcoming from the Atlas TAR Chapbook Series

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One Response to “A Poem by Roberto Montes”

  1. 10 March 2017 at 2:19 PM #

    Roberto, your poem… the pain seeped off the monitor and flowed onto my desk. I hope it helped ease yours…

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