Nick Carbo


Directions to My Imaginary Childhood

If you stand on the corner
of Mabini Street and Legazpi Avenue,
wait for an orchid colored mini-bus
with seven oblong doors,
open the fourth door —

an oscillating electric fan
will be driving, tell her to proceed
to the Escolta diamond district —
you will pass Maneng Viray's Bar,
La Isla de los Ladrones book shop,

the Frederick Funston fish sauce factory,
and as you turn left into Calle de Recuerdos,
you will see Breton, Bataille, and Camus
seated around a card table playing
abecedarian dominoes —

Mal Agueros

If you come to Mojacar
and peel open an orange full of worms,
count how many there are because
those are the days it will take for your body
to decompose after you are buried.

If you come to Mojacar
and find a small green snake with its back
broken, don't step on it or you'll cause
an earthquake that will catch up to you
while you sleep in a continent far, far away.


I must admit to this outright theft.
Before the crickets could impede me,

I reached outside my window
to grab as much of Andalusia as

I could in the palm of my hand.
I took the evening's silver

from the olive trees, the yellow slumber
from the lemons, the recipe for gazpacho.

I made a small incision in my heart
and slipped in as much as my left

and right ventricles could hold.
I reached for a pen and a piece of paper

to ease-out the land into this poem.
I closed the small incision in my heart