Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

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At a friend’s family Thanksgiving a man slips nigger and spic into my drink.
00:00 / 00:59

I grab ice

out the Styrofoam cooler

I don’t feel cold.

Filling my cup three quarters

I set it down on the washer

spin cycle just finished.

Warm cherry coke

hisses and cracks.

My brothers taught me

to pour mixer in first.

The ice pops and sizzles

as the soda falls through.

Pour to the ice line

melting as the soda comes closer.

Open the jack.

Let it take me to the brim.

Taste. Too cherry. Fill again.

Taste. Liquid cherry pie

warm down the throat

no whiskey burn.

Fill to the brim again.

Burn my throat

smacking my tongue

to the top of my mouth

searing the words along my cheeks

as if there was a chance for them

to escape.

Juan writes in the hopes that his writing will leave you with feelings that feel true to the soul. Juan believes that's the most important part about writing, making sure the feelings are true. If not, then why do we read?

"This poem was never supposed to be what it is today. Originally in my mind it was always going to be a bridge poem. Something I wrote down so I could finally get the idea out and from there I could use it to launch into the poem I thought I wanted to write. However, after writing this down I realized this was always what the poem was supposed to be. Poetry is funny like that, the wants of the writer means nothing, the poem will always dictate what it is and what it’s supposed to be.”