Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

The Sound of Glass is Unmistakable


I’m sitting on a rock in the shade cast by a prickly bush, thinking about the political theory that separated Santander from Boli­var, when I see on the farther ridge a team of horses pulling a long cart which holds a rectangular mirror the size of a movie screen. There’s no teamster guiding the yoked horses over the rough and pitched road. It’s as if they orient themselves over the landscape by the scent of a shared history. Who feeds them? By what streams do they spend their nights dreaming of a vast confederation of unified states? I wonder as the horses begin trotting more erratically, causing the cinematic glass to jerk.


I see the galleon on which my ancestors escaped from the southern ports of Spain; I see the torsos of Muasca hoeing in a field and slipping off the screen; I see a village of people covered in mud, sliding in the barro, some dancing and bloody and hooded; I see El Tiempo on fire and storefront windows breaking. In all that blurring and shaking, I see a tapestry of red and yellow roses through the milky windows of a greenhouse.


The horses are now in full revolt over the near ridge, at the precipice of the antepasados. The blonde one drags her hind left hoof in the dirt as though she’s a cartographer; another begins to gallop; the copper nag high steps it in my direction; while the lead horse, tallest and muscled, leaps into the air with ecstasy.


Sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, even my mother who normally avoids the atomic sunlight like a movie star, scurry out of a hundred holes to witness the splintered cart and mangled horses, the twin condors circling, the shards of blue sky everywhere.

Maurice Guevara (The Sound of Glass is Unmistakable) Born in Belencito, Colombia, Maurice Kilwein Guevara was raised in the Pittsburgh area and currently lives in Milwaukee. These poems come from a collection-in-progress entitled POEMA.