Previous Feature: Angel Zapata
Angel Zapata was born in NYC, and currently resides in Augusta, GA. An award-winning writer, his prose collections include Flames of Quiet Light: Thirteen Tiny Tales of Love and Loss, and Son of the Exorcist: A Roddy Sanchez Crime Thriller. His poetry collections include An Offering of Ink and Feathers, and Prayers from Crooked Spines. For a full listing of Angel’s awards and publications, please visit his Goodreads site.
She drags me ‘round the building,
curbs me at the alley’s dumpster.
“Be sure to shut your eyes,” she says.
It’s not the first time I say, “Okay.”
Roaches and rats brawl for food scraps.
The first guy staggers by me.
Momma pins back her hair and kneels.
I close my eyes, pray I won’t hear a thing.
Momma taught me
the sky speaks in riddles,
likes to tease you with the sun.
All it really wants
is a spoonful of moon powder
and a fairy tale before it sleeps.
Once upon a time, momma
loved us more than the needle.
Alphabet City, 1976
Bicentennial fireworks blow holes
through public housing shadows.
As the world detonates around us,
old pigeon shit glows on windowsills.
Daddy’s in bed, noddin’ on opiates.
Momma’s bruised, drunk on the couch.
Fourteen floors above the city,
yet none of us are high enough.
We was high, then we wasn’t,
felt like the cellar floor split wide,
swallowed us; all them cement teeth
to cling to, but I didn’t care—
needed to crawl down the monster’s throat,
suffocate it with my bones.
Now you show up six weeks clean
and beggin’ for forgiveness.
My girl’s lookin’ for feminine pads
and cotton balls. It’s like Jeopardy in my mind.
“Things that are soft, Alex.”
She glides to the makeup aisle.
I glare at mascara, red nail polish—momma’s
black eye and daddy’s bloodied fist.
“Things that make us hard, Alex.”
All Hail! Angel Zapata’s newest collection of poems, Prayers from Crooked Spines, is available via Goodreads. Click on the cover art below to learn more . . . Also, Angel’s epic fantasy and adventure poem, Harrownought, is forthcoming in both traditional print and ebook formats. Stay apprised of its publication by visiting his blog, A Rage of Angel.