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
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
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
from the body
of a plane.
What came
next: no
image but
sensation of
its hammer
(my inexpert

into but not
skin—the spot
at the base
of my thumb
slowly filling
with fluid…
In Spanish:
—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

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


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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