• Two Poems

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    BY DENNIS ANDREW S. AGUINALDO

    University Done With Graduates

    Absent are good morning towelettes,
    a paintbrush that rallied the grey into streets,

    cones like lopped tips of goliath crayons,
    a stretch of grocery straw

    asking engines to keep it all breathing.
    Unstolen under a clump of santan,

    corner Doña Aurora: two cans of white paint.
    It is known to rain.

    It is known as the caballero,
    brightest possible feather in a week of wet soil.

    Atop the entrance find the ants
    in disarray, unable to fall in line or die.

    Each drop for them sounds a
    renewed matter of startling.

    * * *

    Varnish

    What if we lose you before my wife gives birth.
    Say there’s no limit to what

    Capsules Ate can bring to this table.
    Our discount cards splitting open

    The coziest, most disinfected of hospital rooms.
    What shall I tell this grandchild on the move

    When you were never one to tell stories?
    Your kindness only half the story.

    The pictures on the mahogany, unsmiling.
    Without him, we’d never have amounted to

    Anything with a license.
    For him, even a rival’s vote is sacred.

    Should have been cream
    But he refused the lull of the shade.

    He did love to tend the trees, water the flowers.
    So I began to stare at the sheen of wet leaves.

    Are you done attaching the nozzle?
    I said, are you done. The reason

    I am respectful, and you are respectful.
    Your grandmother, she’s the one fond of questions.

    Hers, the delicate spelling of words.
    To father belonged a cupboard of hoarse kettles.

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