12.2 / FALL/WINTER 2017




Regala un huevo con una mano y con la otra, mata la gallina

Some people are encyclopedias.

I’m more like the ashes after a book

is burned. Every burned tome dissap-

pears. The Apples will also vanish.

If the sun that devours books

got caught in a gargantuan

Library of Congress mousetrap

and died with a broken neck as a result,

then I would bury the sun in the cemetery

reserved for vanishing apples and book ashes.

My father once stole the spotlight

and ended up doing two months in jail.

My papá is malo. He’s the type

to give you an egg with one hand

and kill the chicken with the other.




Malos Hábitos[1]

El coyote me pidió carne roja. Yo le dije que no tenía.
El coyote se enojó y se fue. Yo llamé a mi primo-hermano.
“Pablo,” yo grité con toda mi fuerza. El sacó la cabeza por la ventana.
Pablo tenía una jupa tan grande, que era un milagro que la podía sacar por la ventana.
“Quiero carne,” yo le dije sentado bajo de un palo de mango que nuestro abuelito
sembró antes de la guerra civil. Pablo era un carnicero y tenía dientes de caballo,
ojos de rana, orejas de rata y una nariz como las brujas que reinaban cuando el Mamut existía.
“Ya voy pa bajo,” el me gritó. El coyote regresó. Pablo se acercaba
con una olla de carne en sus manos. El coyote me miró en los ojos y me dijo,
“Necesito un cigarro.”

Bad Habits

The coyote asked me for red meat. I told him that I didn’t have any.
The coyote got mad and left. I called my first cousin.
“Pablo,” I screamed with all my might. He stuck his head through the window.
Pablo had such a big noggin, that it was a miracle that it could fit through the window.
“I want meat,” I told him sitting under a mango tree that our grandfather
planted before the civil war. Pablo was a butcher and he had horse teeth,
frog eyes, rat ears and a nose like the witches who reigned when the Mammoth existed.
“I’m coming down now,” Pablo yelled. Pablo approached me with a pot of meat in his hands.
The coyote returned. The coyote looked me in the eyes and said, “I need a cigarette.”


Steve Castro’s poetry is forthcoming in Plume; Forklift, Ohio; Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism and in The Plume Anthology of Poetry 6 (March, 2018). His poem ‘Scrapers of the Sky,’ originally published in Green Mountains Review, was featured on Verse Daily on June 16, 2017. He’s the co-editor of Public Pool and the assistant poetry editor at decomP. Birthplace: Costa Rica.

[1] Originally written in Spanish by Steve Castro. Translated into English by Steve Castro.

12.2 / FALL/WINTER 2017