Portrait of an Unarmed Man

This is not you but your body
forced to feign prayer. A curbside
confession: Forgive me officer,
for I have sinned. On bended
knees, arms raised, hands reaching
for what little you know of god,
you assume the position. Cruciform.
Assume to know what you have always
assumed true: you are just one breath
away from breathlessness. This is not
you but your body made brilliant in orbs
of blue and red light. This is not you but
your body. Shrouded in siren-call. This
is not you but your body. Last words
from your mouth unheard pleas, voice
hoarse from begging before it’s holed.
Made unwhole. Your heart, like a fist, trying
still to hold on. You and not your body,
blocks away. Bringing home still-warm
bread beneath your arm. A bottle of glue
in your pocket, to teach your son that what’s
broken can be mended. A set of brushes
in your palms, because you wanted to paint
yourself in colors too brilliant for this world,
the way you deserved to be remembered,
bright and untouched by the dark.

Ángel García is the author of Teeth Never Sleep, winner of the 2018 CantoMundo Poetry Prize, which will be published by the University of Arkansas Press in the Fall of 2018. His work has been published in the American Poetry Review, Miramar, McSweeney’s, Huizache, and The Good Men Project among others. He currently lives in the Midwest