Mike Soto

Mercury Topaz


Trapped in trying, caught in the cloth
of my own dreaming, unable to murder myself
out—somersault snatched in a pelican's gullet,
suffering to wake from a mumbled country
the size of my sleep, with barely enough room
for wanting out. How to know—as the flicker

of a faceless start, unborn, uncoined, desperate
to stay dead (or was it alive)—why
I was being smuggled in a box surrounded
by the jive of tricksters—whose footsteps
came so crisply after coming to a standstill
the size of an ocean. How to predict

a trunk would fly open, that I would be a man
weeping blindly on a bleached floor
of light, unable to decide if condemned or spared
under the belly of a bridge, as models
of other vehicles sped by. How to ever

bring myself back—to the size of knowing,
who drove, which voices were real.
A few footprints & a coffee left steaming
on the dash of the unlocked car.

MIKE SOTO's poetry has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in Gulf Coast, PANK, Hot Metal Bridge, Michigan Quarterly Review, and others. He received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and currently lives in Dallas, TX. To find more of his work please visit his website at mikesoto.com.