about the author

Steve Castro was born in San José, Costa Rica. He is a candidate in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at American University in Washington, D.C., where he serves as the poetry editor of Folio, and the Managing Editor of Café Américain. Publications include Everyday Genius, Hobart (print), Spork, This Great Society (Canada), the Dublin Quarterly (Ireland), etc. and most recently in 100 word story and the anthology Writing That Risks: New Work from Beyond the Mainstream (Red Bridge Press).

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Ashes to ashes

Steve Castro

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The sun draws back its bow and fires
arrows towards our planet earth.
Those rays of light often penetrate my skin.
A pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses
would be really nice right about now,
but it’s much cheaper to squint my eyes.

I look directly at the sun
when it is behind clouds,
which is kind of like looking
at a lion when it is inside of a locked cage.

Someone once spread a rumor that I had
stolen the sun’s golden bow in order to
harness its light so that I could use it
to track and hunt down a pack of wild lions
that infiltrated our village in the dead of night
in order to kill and carry away our main source
of income, our valuable herd of cattle.

But that aforementioned rumor is false,
I actually purchased all of my ash stained lion bones
at an antique shop that has since closed down,
in an accursed hyena infested town
that has since burned to the ground.


Steve Castro

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If I boiled my bread or baked my eggs,
then I would get the rules
of proper culinary etiquette
tattooed to my tongue, in red ink,
‘cause they should be kept
a camouflaged secret
from those voluptuous chef spies
disguised as tongue wondering lovers.

Crows are known for being a key ingredient
in pies during the dark ages, and for also
plucking the eyes out of a certain hell bound
thief crucified next to Jesus. A key made out
of a crow’s beak was considered a foible,
or so goes the fable, by those key makers
who only worked with precious metals.

A precious metal is that fragment of shrapnel
that missed you by inches; the deadly explosion
that made you forget alchemy.

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