Dennis Mont’Ros is a Cuban American and military veteran pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of South Florida. He is currently co-editor for both poetry and fiction at the journal Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art. Dennis was a finalist for The Iowa Review’s 2016 Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans.
The Devil Cloaked in Sun
In the garden behind the mosque,
A squash blossom shudders.
The Imam lays down his
prayer and stumbles out toward the
ancient village’s new plumes.
The machine’s name is the hum it makes
upon leaving some concrete hive
to harvest our warm nectar.
To hear the stories, one might think
of a pomegranate dropping from a high branch,
quiet until it bursts on the earth.
What does he see that angers him so,
that man across the ocean?
Does he hear the appeals to mercy
we send him in the clouds?
The finger leaps from behind a mountain.
It touches us once,
rattles our eyes,
puts the taste of copper in our mouths,
Children mistake it for a sparkling angel,
with a nest in the clouds.
Then the lighting comes.
It is a sky gray box
with latent lamentations inside its rivets.
The Creator tires of hearing his name let loose this way.
A mother tears the saffron tatters of a hijab
from between cinderblock shards.
The fragrance of cooling blood invites more vultures.
Elders encircle the fire pit
and kneel around the ring of stones.
They imbue the rising embers with furious prayers,
watch hope climb the updrafts.