Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence



By Rigoberto Gonzalez

How deep is your love? How
deep does the razor sink
into your cheek before
you taste it? Only trees

know the blade's invasion,
the evidence engraved.
But no oak's battle scar
will be immortalized

so fiercely. You love me!
The exclamation mark
will hide beneath your skin
but it will scream and scream

like the whistles of those
distant streets you wander,
where your stitches flaunt to
strangers the ghostly sheen

of a clean incision -
so exact, a master-
piece. The craftsmanship's mine;
that is my signature.

A vision called to me:
on your face the beauty
of a knife slit haunted
me, so I carved it free.

I hold your head up like
a trophy, rub your scar.
Please promise it won't cut
back. I don't like to bleed.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 77, No. 4 (Winter 2003), pp. 54-55


Rigoberto Gonzalez

Rigoberto González is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, most recently the poetry volume Unpeopled Eden. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, winner of the American Book Award, The Poetry Center Book Award, The Shelley Memorial Award of The Poetry Society of America, and a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers magazine and on the executive board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle.

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