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(Early Poems 1935-1955)
by Charles Ries

Mexican poets often leap from sidewalk
to roof top. One foot on the earth and
the other on a cloud of cotton candy.

They gaze at death and see dancing skulls
with smiles stretching as far and wide as
the Milky Way.

I close my eyes and see within myself a naked boy
sitting beneath a vast pecan tree. From its branches
hang stars. This canopy of shade becomes my

Carlos blows into Olivia’s ear a love whisper,
sending a waterfall of kisses cascading out her
mouth onto brown soil where white flowers erupt.

A prisoner of my imagination, I turn to face myself
and shout, “who’s there?” The Mexican poets have
impregnated my fiction with new possibilities.

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