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)
More Poems by Francisco Aragón