Poetry By Michael Vargas

Poetry By Michael Vargas

By Michael Vargas

I drift heavy. Nothing like the routine of having melancholia or fetishizing my own demise. 
I am simply a mailman. I deliver letters—notes, remarks, notices, information that I can’t
distinguish between.

            Don’t shoot the messenger

Sometimes, I like to remind every customer
when they refuse to sign their certified letter from the IRS, the Child Protective Services, the
mortgage company, or the city who forgot them.

One time
a customer yelled at me: “I don’t fucken want it! I don’t fucken want it!”
               so you want me to scan it as REFUSED?
He slammed the door on me. 
I walked back to my vehicle, endorsing the letter with R E F U S E D near the return-address. 
He opened the door and yelled: “Come back, I want it!”
and so I gave it to him


I’m preparing for my wedding
the surrender of wishes and solemn flasks of degenerate hopes and dreams
I keep them hidden like my grandma did when she was 16
when she was taken from her home by my grandpa

they drove—they drove like they were afraid of the sun catching onto their swollen tails 

             Young Animals!
             My great grandpa would yell. As if howling would stop the moon from rising.  
             What money do you have? My daughter cannot cook, my daughter is not meant to be a

—Years Later

             Mother Teresa, lays in the center of the living room floor. My aunts, babies at the time, 
wander the home. My grandpa beats her to wake up.

             A holy drunk.


                                      Female for Male Love
South Fontana Female
Straight haired, coal-eyed dark flavored bitch with fragmented teeth covered in silver and gold

                    Take a photo with me, in this box, with my 2 boys, the only men for me
                    A couple more shots of sweet remember 

                    excommunicated single mother
                    sleeping on the floor of her older sister’s home 

We threw uncle raymond’s records over that old house before we left
like UFO’s—shattering themselves into the desert of area 51 

           no one will want me

Sleepovers like this don’t last forever
breakfast with my cousins 

1 home, 2 nests, no bed, old blankets on carpets, wet eyes
eilings with popcorn and stars dusted on 

this is what it’s like to leave a hungry man


Growing up, I always knew that I was different. ¿Quién es ese indio? Who is that indian? I don’t know how I would’ve responded back then to my great-grandfather. Back then, I was consoled by mom, she’d hold me tightly and say, “Mijo, when you were in my tummy, I ate a lot of avocados, so when you were born—you hit the air and got dark.” I’d tell my brother that same story and he’d laugh and tell me I was adopted. I wasn’t adopted though. My dark brown skin, my curly hair, and my full lips—were memories of relatives long abandoned. The poems to follow, are episodes of my life, and the family between them. Homosexuality, racism, abuse, and alcoholism intersect like my cultural identity depended on it. I am a Queer Latino from Southern California. I write to unearth what my family wishes to forget.

Airport Lounge

Airport Lounge

The Body Poem

The Body Poem