Tuesday 5 May 2015

2 Poems by Juan Pajoro

Two Immigrants Debating the Definition of Refugee

Where did you hide the music of weeping
pea trees? How many slipping memories
are carried by the dead? The master keeps
her mind always ungraspable. Is that
blood on the flower path by the cottage?

For weeks the wolf ate from wooden dishes.
Who soaked the rags in coyote urine?
A good traveler does no fixed planning.
Say mango. Say dark basement. Say when
did you go missing? Governing is like frying

small fish. What is the name of the Cuckoo
Flower? Lady’s Smock, cousin of the Water
Forget-Me-Not, cousin of the Meadowsweet –
neither can contain the music of a pea tree.

We Five (you were on my mind)

Cuando oído, laundress, when I heard
the pattern of your sandals on the hard
wood floors of heaven above, I nearly
soared to the window. Begging the same

as nails bending away from the rusty
hammer claw for five more minutes in bed.
Alone under covers, muñeca, in the fog
of Beverly Bivens’ low tenor escaping

duct-taped speakers. Obsessed, I went
quickly to the corner to ease my brain &
threw pennies at the bus as it drove past
which I thought would help but instead

it sounded like the time I left my belt
in the dryer of your kinder heart.


JUAN PAJARO studied at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Harold Washington College in Chicago. He lives in Humboldt Park, where he writes poetry and works at the United Center. He has published under pennames with Prensa Mexicana, Chicago Reader, Frontera, Wisconsin Review, and elsewhere. When the Bulls are not playing, you can find Juan reading Nelson Algren, Alfonso Reyes, and Saul Bellow with a cup of coffee and comfortable shoes.

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