The Aureliano Poems

Aureliano contends with what little he knows. 

Lists make the world into something 

careful intent 

These three things made up his armor 
His shining armor shone 

Do you remember 
the ice yes just like that in my shining armor too I can watch myself 


surely some product of his 
(the father’s) imagination 

I am so young 
Already I know newness to be a hoax 

I move and I move  
In the mirror 

Look that word seems new 

But there are a limited amount of sensations 
he realized 

At least now I can face my rage 
It’s something that’s felt similarly before


Rage Aureliano. 

Donkeys have no concept of money 
In this and other ways one is wiser than you 

I saw the note do not insult me 
I consider myself familiar with your handwriting
Your particular notion of space 

go to the yard now 
little Aureliano it is time for dinner what 

Would you have me kill 

Three chickens in the yard which you bought
I thought myself to be among them in age
Then a gathering of schoolchildren they all had fathers 

I shut them up 
I broke their backs

at once

We ate well 
I told you not to feel any love for them 

become palpable become tangible I can feel you
the notion of space between  
my hands 

my wrath 

a new kind 

of orange 

It has been identified 
I grow in its light


Aureliano observes. 

Actionable as the stranger in another’s intimate sentence.

Useless as attempting to siphon the beauty from rose petals.

Adjectives have their place for me it is in the heart.

Enthralling is the gossip that denotes the other as an equal.

My mother walks as if she were burdening the messenger.

I narrate my surroundings as if my loneliness were new.

Death drives me. I am writing in order to contend with it.

I suppose there are certain people I would like to impress.

I planted some violets in the yard yesterday. 

I cooked a scorpion until its legs turned white. 

When my brother explained sex to me I noticed a chestfeeling.

There is shameful pleasure in pity that’s why we watch.

Don’t turn your head. Bug on the rock. Bug moving its little

Arms. Decapitated bug sharp rock on a stick. Teeth crunch and


About the Author

Bailey Cohen-Vera is the Assistant Editor for Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. A poet, essayist, and book reviewer, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Shenandoah, The Iowa Review, Poet Lore, Waxwing, The Spectacle, Poetry Northwest, and Sugar House Review, among elsewhere. He has received numerous Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominations, and his work has been featured in several anthologies such as The BreakBeat Poets Vol.4: LatiNEXT. Serving as the organizer of the Strange Tools Writer’s Workshop, Bailey is a Wiley Birkhofer Fellow in Poetry at NYU. His website is

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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