PDF

Thoughts After Arriving Home from the Cafe Havana


by P.R. Mercado


If someone told me like people do 
that I am a good person
I will never believe them
mostly because I own a mirror
but also because I have lived with myself
for the rest of my life
and sometimes when I meet myself
in silence, like on the toilet
or after masturbation
or after the last bite of a meal
or when the stretch of highway
is hundreds of miles long
I am filled with a regretful longing
that I am I 

and the corpse my soul occupies
rots so slowly that when I am finally
putrid filth and hair and bones
the thousand twilights I have endured
would have made my soul immortal,
stronger and resilient
capable of surviving death
living trash

and tonight a girl told me
through the sound of salsa music:
what I remember is that
he used to hold my hand;
and I thought to myself 
what a wonderful thing
for one corpse to touch another
and without one opening
his bacteria-laden mouth, say:
I love you. I am here. 
I will never let go,
and as our bodies decay
then we will lie on the ground
as one pile of garbage
together. 
Endcap