by Jéanpaul Ferro

My memories of you are mummified
like an Egyptian lion,

Washed with palm wine and
surrounded by strips of linen,

All my natural organs tenderly
cleansed and packed in natron,

My heart left inside
for all the afterlife,

Ten thousand days swimming
off El-Iskandariya,

Forty days until I can be
whole again in the Nile,

All of me as I live
inside the four sons—

Qebehsenuef, Duamutef,
Hapy, Imsety,

My brain awaiting you
in a canopic jar.

by Jéanpaul Ferro

Days and nights the waves
come in off shore,
from the head of the beach
a deep blue January sky,
the air, cold, like the cobblestone
of long walkways,
dreams as they return to me
all my forgotten steps.

“Lovers today are all fake lovers,”
you say to me,
this is in Cuba with Hemingway
before Castro,
we work hard just to get by,
you and I, everyday,
oranges for breakfast, warm cakes
for lunch (if we’re lucky).

But we all make decisions,
judgements so close to home,
human weakness left unseen
until some other day—
the way your brown eyes never
hide how much you love me,
the way they leave everyone
else at a table quiet.


Jéanpaul Ferro is the author of All the Good Promises, a book of
short fiction (Plowman Publishing, 1994), and
Super Sonic, a book of
poetry (Chapultepec Press, forthcoming 2006).  His work has appeared
Portland Monthly, Hawaii Review, Newport Review, The Plaza,
Outsider's Ink, The Pedestal Magazine, Mid-South Review, and many
others, and he was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by
The Rose
& Thorn Literary Journal

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 1, Number 1
(Spring 2006)

Copyright © 2006
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.

Cuba, 1943