Reinaldo Garcia

To Opulence

Shape Shifters


I lingered over coffee at a small outdoor cafe.
Under an umbrella, I watched the children play.
The fountains and the flowers framed the summer scene.
Rain began to fall. I fell into a dream.

I floated down a corridor made of pumice stone.
Artifacts of memory graced the catacomb:
Fetishes from Africa and swords of samurai.
I floated past them all. I fell into the sky.

I circled a volcano and watched the lava flow.
It swept away a pueblo below the lunatic snow.
Phantoms of the villagers swam up through the steam.
They joined me in the heavens, above the world's debris.

Impoverished by love, surrendering to fate,
submitting to a judgment that won't vindicate,
The ghosts of the oppressed and I embraced our naked souls,
then realigned our essences into a cross of gold.

The volcano crystallized into a pyramid.
The cross of souls transformed itself into a veil of skin
And draped itself around the scar that split the cooling rock.
I woke up from the shock. I looked up at the clock.

I was late for an engagement. I paid the waiter's bill.
The rain turned into mist. The sun shone on a hill.
I took a path up through the trees and lay down on a stone.
I bared my breast to heaven. I know we’re not alone.

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