José M. Tirado – Three Poems

joeJosé M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, La Respuesta, Op-Ed News, among others.


Her most holy book
primly rested beside us,
on the table next to
her little bed,
where unspeakable beauty
that one night.

I turned instead, her pages,
brainy top to briny toes;
I bent low
in loving caresses,
tasting Fez and Marrakesh
and their brilliant sun
between her fingers,
along her brown,
serpentine belly &
deep within her ancient eyes.

We blazed in flight.

In the morning
another scriptural verse
was revealed:
she reached out
to read my warm, legible face,
the far away swirling red sands of
the night before,
while the city had danced beyond
and soft grainy oceans
swept over us
in passages I´ve long since committed
to memory
for 30 profane years.


Silver-blue brightness coats the streets
with quiet glitter,
ice covered in powder, run over
by thinning rubber & diffident rain.

Car lights dart like
furtive animals on a night chase,
while reds & greens change with
predictable precision.
The destination is local.

Near the pier he rests, across the bay
dancing luminescence is taken in silence,
broken only by the salt smell &
bubble burps of water, splashes
on the sea wall;
he kneels
where he takes a stone
& washes it with longing,

tossing it back to the
where it might
dream of the future.

Faithful, he rises to leave,
for stars between the
trees behind him,
smelling the night,
catching wolves in
his palm.

(For TR)

It was certain he knew the rules
& the measured plod recorded
all life & in its redundant, peculiar details.
The singing was not a raucous harmony;
no gospel Black God callings here.
It hung tighter to a different form, giving grief
to the hurried reader eager to grab and get.
But Ted, I saw in there, among the tight
thrushes & fancied sways
a certain way in I couldn´t find otherwise.
The knees are bent in prayer;
the head bowed in elementary tonal gratitude,
blank, severe, yet faithfully expressed,
twisting the rules just so.

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