Sad Dictionary ||| Linebreak

Llamas dot the hills. White rugs on a green rug.
You never had an iPod, so you can’t imagine how

much better it is now. We have been to the Moon
and made him our doormat. Painkiller of the night,

he still shines, though we have blackened his eye
by punching it closed. Perhaps his forehead shines.

Spain is better, too: yellow flowers, useless flowers,
a destination vacation. Pessoa might have been the

alarm clock of the mountain slope with his contingent
of sheep, lazily shepherding his multiple selves into

crooked pens, but you are my sad dictionary, César.
I raise my hoof to you. Crippled though it is, I am.

                 for César Vallejo


Richard Siken is a poet, painter, filmmaker, and an editor at Spork Press. He is a recipient of two Arizona Commission on the Arts grants, two Lannan Residency Fellowships, and a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sad Dictionary” was originally published in Linebreak March 17, 2008.