a l b e r t    a b o n a d o

 

 

Epistle to Mambo No. 5


Epistle to Big Poppa









































Epistle to Mambo No. 5

after Lou Bega

 

Your politeness comes with red velvet,
leopard-print, a fine goose down you use
to cover everything you touch, to fill
heads with plush. You are not made
for this kind of gravity, so you came
with your own, something to keep your teeth
straight, to contain each footfall
made of neon, each arm
that wraps a waist in cursive.
What you know about napalm is daily, begins
in the hips, a city of ruined dances,
scratched floorboards, your finger deep
in dark liquor. Your favorite kiss
always starts the same way: a sky
that opens just before the morning.

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Epistle to Big Poppa

after Biggie Smalls

 

In the garden of swank, of whistles and tulips
and uh-huh, all your blood is refugee. You slither,
the single gold chain hung from your neck also flickers
dragged over slabs of bluestone whose distribution
is proof your feet were never meant
to touch the dirt, to rise and fall
with the rest of us. You have always leaned
in too close to share your latest news,
your eyes no longer the only glorious thing
here the color of slate, of snow
after a volcano. You could write
your name into your eyes if you pressed
down hard enough until you leave
a trail of discolorations: rockets
to an undiscovered moon, designs
for cubic zirconium bracelets, any spot
you ever wanted to leave an x.

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ALBERT ABONADO is the Director of Adult Programs at Writers & Books. He is a 2014 NYFA Poetry Fellow. His work has appeared in The Literary Review, Sixth Finch, Rattle, interrupture, Big Lucks, and others. He is the author of the e-chapbook This is Superbook (H_NGM_N Books). He lives in Rochester, NY with his wife and a hamster named Humphrey.


in issue sixteen


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