Ribbon Cutting

Halfway into the goal, the ball explodes
and the rain starts. My wife’s father tells us
what hurts most about heart surgery
is the pressure they put on the artery
when they close up, how the stents stapled
his valves open; he nearly cries when he
talks about his heart and how it was ninety-
five percent blocked. Injury is thus.
The wails of the nursery. The cottontail
in the shrubbery urging us forth.
I watch the birds. I learn the names
and when the hens denounce me
and my worth, I rise with the melting
tomorrow and go at it with my eyes like feet.
Did you recommend me? I only ask
because the doors were open and
the orchestra was playing "A Whole New World"
as the councilmen paraded themselves
around our new campus—two young trees
smiled at each other in the courtyard
and everything went off without a hitch.
Have you noticed how the godly play god?
I took the class on Spanish poetry
and the man who taught us was a poet.
He walked home alone, often, and we,
his students, would see him along the field.
There were moments like that, sealed
in the factory of time, and other moments
too, like this one, my wife’s father
nearly weeping for his survivor’s heart
as he told us about the procedure
that would not have occurred save for
his wife telling him one excruciating day,
“Hey, you have to see the doctor.”

Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Find more at alejandroescude.com.