Roberto Montes     




THE WEIRDEST THING HAPPENED EARLIER. I was in Manhattan and no one was talking to me and it seemed exactly like if you were to slowly work the tree line across your forehead and then out of nowhere I accidentally accepted everything; I was like “Hey, things happen.” I was probably in the middle of the street because right away someone got out of their car and asked “Are you all right?” But when I nodded their eyebrows grew serious and librarian and they said “Are you sure? Because from where I’m standing it looks like you were just accepting things.” I tried to laugh it off I said “No, that doesn’t sound like me” but I don’t think they believed me because they just kept staring and noiselessly repeating their finger against my clavicle. It was really awkward and several days long. I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do. I couldn’t remember where to put my hands. 


THE WEIRDEST THING HAPPENED EARLIER. I must have been afraid because when I hesitated in the pantry there were people waiting to pat me on the back. “Welcome,” they said. “Thanks,” I replied, “Also, who are you?” Of course, it didn’t matter who they were just that they were there and you weren’t. The way a granary cannot help but announce itself as it is evacuated of use. How would you describe that feeling? I wouldn’t describe that feeling. I would be too busy rescuing it from starving rabbits. Wheeling its several acres with my smallish talk. “What’s left to harvest?” I asked the only couple without parasol or mulch. They couldn’t believe it. I was, after all, their son. 


THE WEIRDEST THING HAPPENED EARLIER. I was shirtless in the village flexing near a group of tourists and no one seemed to care or notice. It was amazing. I was finally free to flex unbothered and toward the earth. Several things were allowed to happen. A few larks gathered in a clearing I knew nothing about. Voltron entered the dictionary, forever changing how we knew to arrange our bodies. My neighbor’s forehead approached a window in a way that asked “Like this? Do I enter your life like this?” I had one or two ideas about that. First, I need to find that clearing. Then I need to drag it home.



Roberto Montes is the author of I DON’T KNOW DO YOU, named one of the Best Books of 2014 by NPR and a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry by The Publishing Triangle. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Whiskey Island, The Atlas Review, Apogee Journal, and elsewhere.