George Such

spanish moss reflected on lake martin

it floats, a ghost, on the cypress limbs, haunting
the swamp as my dreams do me, gray and tangled
threads of thought, surprising me, taunting
my identity, specters on the water’s angled

mirror—it’s hard to touch a dream from a boat—
when i dip my hand in the lake, it goes through
the reflection, only the water’s cool coat,
a glove around my reach into the silver stew

of perceptions, nothing to grasp in the raveled mass
of me—once i woke from sleep at our bedroom
window, climbing and clawing at the glass,
wanting out of the house, or was it a tomb,

or was i wanting in to another world, wanting to
join the mystery, to hear the words i’ve missed you

Iglesia de San Francisco

I’m not a believer, but I see the faith
at work. Pilgrims come here
to pray to brother Pedro,
Guatemala’s only
patron saint—they tap
on his sepulcher, kneel
beneath the stained-glass stories
inside the walls of white stone,
their lips silently shaping
their petitions.

Behind the church,
a three-room museum:

the Ambiente Colonial;
displaying images of Spanish kings
and soldiers, royal rituals
painted in gold,

the Sala de las Reliquias;
filled with Pedro’s possessions,
his rickety chair, seat worn through,
the crucifix that hung
around his neck, his pen, his robe,

and the Pasillo de los Milagros;
where leg-braces and crutches hang
on a long wall, with spectacles
and hearing aids, and on the opposite
wall, letters that testify of healing,
of faith’s dogged tapping.

Author Portrait

George Such is a third-year English PhD student at University of Louisiana, Lafayette, where he has been awarded a University Fellowship. In a previous incarnation he was a chiropractor for twenty-seven years in eastern Washington. His poetry has appeared in Arroyo Literary Review, Barely South Review, The Cape Rock, Dislocate, and many other literary journals. His nonfiction has appeared in Phoebe, and his collection of poems Where the Body Lives was selected as winner of the 2012 Tiger’s Eye Chapbook Contest and is available from Tiger’s Eye Press.