Issue > Poetry
Ricardo Hernandez

Ricardo Hernandez

Ricardo Hernandez is the son of Mexican immigrants. A recipient of fellowships from Lambda Literary, Poets House, and The Vermont Studio Center, his work has appeared in Muzzle, Witness, Hyperallergic, and elsewhere. Ricardo holds an MFA from Rutgers-Newark and lives in Jersey City.

Fast


asleep, he dreams he is

speaking or being spoken to

in disagreeable tones,

his fists & vocal cords clenched

in pre-emptive defense

as a cold sweat develops

on his chest: shimmering

like a stretch of cellophane

forgotten on the street.

No fisticuffs but

the details of his indiscretions

so well-known,

his face aches just the same.

There is the sensation

of a window flung open

& he can discern

one stray calico's yowl

as another mounts & clamps

its canines down.

At some point a vase is flung

towards a green wall,

petals dot the linoleum,

& a hand is brought down

against the barren kitchen table,

the latter sound so familiar

it wakes him, where he lies

bleary-eyed, outstretched & alone

in bed; a hushed erection waiting

just below the hem.

Fluid Mechanics


Much to his surprise the train left

On time, at five minutes to five, he chose

To ride the front-most car, which cut

Through autumn, dusk, at a rate of thirty-three

MPH, barreling below the churn

Of rivers & weeds & perpendicular

Trees stripped to their waists of green—

Those trunks, he thought, soon to be

Encased in ice, after recalling how,

Earlier today, rain came down

In sheets, it seemed, & he stood

Beneath an awning, watching droplets do

What he still can't do: traverse the world

Under the influence     of gravity     alone

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