Blister

By Francisco Aragón Francisco Aragon

the noun

A disease
of the peach tree
—a fungus
 
distorts leaves.
The first time
I was taken
 
to see him
I was five
or six. A vesicle
 
on the skin
containing
serum, caused
 
by friction,
a burn, or other
injury. He lived
 
on Alabama Street
next to Saint
Peter’s and wore
 
a white t-shirt,
starched and snug.
A similar swelling
 
with fluid
or air
on the surface
 
of a plant,
or metal
after cooling
 
or the sunless
area between
one’s toes
 
after a very
long walk.
Don’t ask me

how it is I
ended up
holding it.
 
An outer
covering
fitted to a
 
vessel to protect
against torpedoes,
mines, or to improve
 
stability. My guess
is that he
brought it out
 
to show me
thinking, perhaps,
I had never
 
seen one
up close,
let alone felt
 
the blunt weight
of one
in my hands.
 
A rounded
compartment
protruding
 
from the body
of a plane.
What came
 
next: no
image but
sensation of
 
its hammer
(my inexpert
manipulation)

digging
into but not
breaking
 
skin—the spot
at the base
of my thumb
 
balloons,
slowly filling
with fluid…
 
In Spanish:
ampolla
—an Ampul
 
of chrystal
in the Middle
Ages could be
 
a relic containing
the blood
of someone
 
holy. I’m fairly
certain it wasn’t
loaded.

Francisco Aragon, "Blister" from Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry. Copyright © 2008 by Francisco Aragon.  Reprinted by permission of Francisco Aragon.

Source: Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press, 2008)

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Poet Francisco Aragón

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Coming of Age, The Body, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

 Francisco  Aragón

Biography

Poet, translator, essayist, editor, and San Francisco native Francisco Aragón studied Spanish at the University of California at Berkeley and New York University. He earned an MA from the University of California at Davis and an MFA from the University of Notre Dame.

Exploring how language and genre both connect and diverge, Aragón’s poems locate personal experience within a wider cultural and historical conversation. Aragón’s . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, The Body, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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