National Poetry Month Day 9: Aldo Amparán





The Day I Came Out


            stains flowered
the ceiling
            of my hotel room
where I’d hardly
            slept sun leaked
the inauguration
            of my new decade
& next to me a man
            I didn’t know
past the bends
            of his body stirred
I reclined beside
            myself in the shade
to remember
            his face
exalted in my breath
            & how his voice
shook the mounting
            pressures of still
water as he said
            I love you
though he’d never
            seen me before
that night I love you
            with his gin
& tonic his winter
            -fresh his navel
piercing his
            elongated O’s
I love you he’d said
            & maybe war ended
with the word
            I turned to his sun
-smoothed torso
            asleep there his
abdomen a road
            -map of white space
clavicle shoulder tiny
            bird of a bruise
in the droop
            of his back
& I thought maybe
            there’s still time
for celebration
            my future a sky
blue terraria
            to display this
ever burgeoning
            affection not
affliction not
            affectation nor
consequence I
            kissed the man’s
forehead & left
            him there nameless
left with no
            number only
the memory of his
            skin & this brilliant
yearning to be
            seen outside
the street pulsed
            shameless & so full
of color my body broke
            into a wave
of electricity
            merging seamlessly
with the rest
            of the world


Photograph of Aldo Amparán by Laura Trejo.

Aldo Amparán is a queer, Mexican American poet from the sister cities of El Paso, TX, & Ciudad Juárez, CHIH. He is the author of Brother Sleep (forthcoming 2022), winner of the 2020 Alice James Award. A CantoMundo Fellow, his work appears in Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, The Journal, Kenyon Review Online, Poetry Northwest, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. Find him at: More from this author →