Estanislao Lopez

Beatification of Fiber Optics

Copper bouquets ripped from phone towers
nick my brother’s hands in the night. No saints

are born, the priest tells us, only recognized—
after a life of holy works

Of all the things Catholicism taught me,
                                I treasure repetition most.

A stray dog limps through the overgrowth of a vacant lot.
           She bares her teeth
as I approach her; she licks my outstretched fist.

Along my brother’s shoulder blade
                                winds his first tattoo:
a cross on a mountain of bullet casings.

Teeth, glowing white like votive candles.
Teeth of the persecuted dislodged from the jaw.

                                If it can be done,
why not do it?
he asks, to break the car’s silence.

I respond, There’s no reason at all.

Estanislao Lopez studied philosophy and creative writing at the University of Houston. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Meridian, New Ohio Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. He currently lives and teaches in Houston, TX.