Stirring : A Literary Collection

Frank Matagrano


Cajigao would have adored sitting with me
just to see a yellow bag of laundry
carried down 33rd.  He had a theory to explain
why one sock went missing at the end of a cycle.
It rejected salvation and wanted nothing to do
with godliness if there wasn't a little dirt
involved.  The role of Cajigao would have been
played by my wife if she wasn't at the oven.
The mushrooms would have to make her
paranoid to have even one thing in common
with the Basque.  She would need to crawl out
of her own skin and talk with a hallucination
about the trails, if they were a kind of mysticism
or just a trick played by a lit cigarette.
She would need to speak two languages, one of them
learned from a sitcom on an access channel,
the other a hodgepodge of morning headlines.

I left a newspaper, the ugliest of plants,
the last time any respect was paid to Cajigao.  He dug
Clinton for his sleaziness and loved to read
how Whitman got involved, all that harmony
in one headline, a snake rubbing shoulders
with a fag.  If Cajigao could have picked
how to go, it would have been alone
in the back of a cab -- there's something romantic
about a heart attack -- with plenty of leg room
for the whole body to seize in a fit
of clarity.  I loved sitting there on the fire
escape, predicting the future of a clean sock
that stayed with the fold.  The draft smelled
like a specific thing.  Cajigao's lungs filled
with water -- you could have wrung him out,
you'd swear his whole body wept for one last
iniquity or loveliness or an uneven mix of both.
The smell resembled lamb sha-cha,
it could have been my wife.  She's more
like a candle than meat, she flickers,
the wind absorbs her scent.  I have spent
hours at a time making plans
to touch her without using either hand.

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Publications: Exquisite Corpse, Cross Connect, Conspire, Snow Monkey, Pudding Magazine, Stirring, etc.
Book: Moving Platform

Stirring : A Literary Collection

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