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Mario Duarte


Now the Dream Said


the dream is over

              but the dreamer

refused to wake.


The dreamer hiked

              to Jersey, sat on

the shore, and watched


blue-green waves

              surge with fingers

of light—catching


wet wind in its teeth,

              whistling like a train

lost in time, in fog.


The dreamer dreamed

              of a life lived here

where the air did not


break over the backs

              of trees nor birds

clawed clouds into chaff.


Now the dreamer felt

              content to sleep, dream,

to forget the white drool


              on the corner of his

mouth, and every corner

              his feet ever kicked.

Mario Duarte is a Mexican American writer. He is an Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate. His poems and short stories have appeared in Arkana, Bones, Ocotillo Review, Red Ogre Review, and Write Launch. New work is forthcoming in Bayou, and the iō Literary Journal. In 2024, his poetry collection “To the Death of the Author” and his short story collection "Monkeys" will be released.

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