I am walking between two loose narratives, connected by a seaside promenade. Rising from dark water, my childhood’s plastic toys and adulthood’s kitchen utensils float near the stony edge. I can’t resist gathering things within reach with promises to use them in my new life. I ignore my drowning sneakers. Lost in object memories, more sentimentals bubble up, begging for rescue. A favorite shirt billows alive in the current. By the time the waves grab my knees, I struggle to free the armful of everything I don’t need. When I understand the sea won’t stop eating the land, I cannot decide which way to best reach higher ground. The promenade is gone, so I skim the surface, now adrift with tarot cards.
Juan Morales is the son of an Ecuadorian mother and Puerto Rican father, which inspired much of the poems in his poetry collections, The Siren World and Friday and the Year That Followed. He is also the author of The Handyman’s Guide to End Times, winner of the 2019 International Latino Book Award. His poems have also recently appeared in Pleiades, Copper Nickel, Hayden’s Ferry Review, terrain.org, the anthologies Dear America and Breakbeats Vol. 4 LatiNext, and forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Acentos Review, and Salamander. He is a CantoMundo Fellow, a Macondo Fellow, the Editor of Pilgrimage Magazine, and the Chair of English and World Languages at Colorado State University-Pueblo.