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Invitation to Dust

Am I poet or paper, my soul asks in the cruel infinite
/night of the sea that is never serene…
Manuel Ramos Otero, Invitación al Polvo

Manuel, seductive arch
of a bay, a drop descending

on the half-light, feet circling
my suicide hour.

We were tangueros
of the same tile, tropical

byway, creek mist,
and love’s insomnia under Venus.

Dancers with the white
silent breeze of despair.

Boleristas take their stilettos
for a stroll while you burn your tongue,

nail it to your pride.
All you neutered men

and women frightening children
playing in schoolyards, I spit on you.

I am the Maga flower, and you’re nothing
but a simple invitation to dust.

Sergio A. Ortiz is the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, ‘Elephant Graveyard’.