PoetryIssue 21 | October 2014

Amaszonas, S.A.

by George Guida

My head is killing me.
My wife is buying tickets to the jungle
with fraught credit cards.

My soul is drifting through thin air,
across the Arroyo de La Paz,
above this crater,
over the mountains,
to the lost Bolivian shore.

The travel agents
are Bolivian beauties, and
if I weren’t married (somos casados,
I would say, if I were they,
married inherently), I would
use my American ways to woo
these uniformed chiquitas of the Altiplano.

But my wife is buying tickets
as the micros, buses, taxis
speed down the avenida
past the stadium
where I will never cheer.

When I reveal my passport
the only man behind the counter
turns to me and says,
I need one of those.

I am the extranjero,
the strange man who has come
to take someone else’s trip.

An old woman enters from the street
and asks, Joven,
¿Donde se paga el cabro?

I don’t know what a cabro is,
but I’ll look it up.
Besides, she is Aymara,
and her grammar has nothing on mine.
I am still an extranjero with a pen.

Three American women sit
booking flights to La Selva.

I am in one of those jungle trances
where I don’t know what or why I am,
here with foreign agents
who speak well enough to say.

About the author

George Guida is the author of seven books, including a forthcoming collection of poems, Pugilistic (WordTech Editions, 2015). He is Poetry Editor of 2 Bridges Review and Professor of English at New York City College of Technology.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok