If I had learned to paint existence,
if I would have had a Bertold Brecht in my drawer,
(Man is born in the Bertold Brecht of his shirt.
Children’s eyes and anxiety knock on his door)
this gulp of Japanese rum would have been
just like a son of a bitch rose.
But this country of drunkenness is insatiable,
Pedrito, almost like a back-lit photograph.
This small country promised us transience,
gave us many blank pages and some scribbles.
It also peed in our socks.
That’s why I love clowns.
For their contribution to the theory of horror,
for their wide and happy shoes,
and for the Bertold Brecht that redeems the usury
of dwelling in this rough alphabet.
Sergio A. Ortiz is a queer Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two time Pushcart nominee, a four time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have been published in hundreds Journals and Anthologies. He is currently working on his first full length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.