Poem by Ramón García
Swan Towels in Mexican Hotels
Towels twisted, coiled, shaped
to rooms left spotless by the cleaning staff.
of your stay, with the departure of the housekeepers,
these birds of transient air-conditioned paradises.
Glideless Ledas, flightless
that are lakes where each guest brings dreams from
temperate zones to rest.
Propped up, like Greek sculptures in museums, gloriously
singular, or beak to beak in mirrored artistry kissing
But not all of them are white (though the majority are).
They can be dull brown, soft beige and even blue--
mutants of a race that cannot be pure and
in more modest hotel rooms they are less skillfully
stylized, their swan forms less refined:
A swan or some other
animal? A duck, a giraffe, a seagull, or is it
a skinny elephant?
In purposely ephemeral folding, not made
to remain as molded,
to be dismantled back to flat usefulness.
was made to be un-swaned.
Ramón García is the author of two books of poetry The Chronicles (Red Hen Press, 2015) and Other Countries (What Books Press, 2010), and a scholarly art book entitled Ricardo Valverde (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). The Chronicles was a finalist for the International Latino Book Award, in the category of Poetry Book in English. His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 1996, Ambit, The Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of US-Hispanic Literature, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Los Angeles Review, and Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas. He teaches at California State University, Northridge and lives in downtown Los Angeles.