Guillermo Filice Castro

Koreatown, New York City

She looks even tinier 


Next to the large police man


Who pushes her shopping cart


Around the squad car with diligence


As if his mother’s groceries 


Are about to go in the trunk, 


Sliced mangoes resting on ice,


Brand new Tupperware containers.


His female partner makes room in the back seat


And from both sides of this touristy intersection 


Some of us continue watching as the cops, without fuss,


Guide the woman into the car,


Almost as if she were not being taken away and we


Not holding our breath, smart phone cameras at the ready,  


Her straight black hair fastened in a ponytail


Her wrists zip-tied behind her back.


Portrait of Abuelo with a Gun

The acupuncture never worked. Or the pills.


Take me to a funeral home you scrawled on a card.


Your body was naked, your son said. Perfect,

he said of your body. Slim and wiry at 78.


A young man’s. Almost.




I see the house you built

in Buenos Aires, bricklayer.


I see Abuela’s bric-a-bracs.


I see you pouring boiling water

into the storm drain


followed by

the unbearable shrieking

of rats

trapped inside.




One crazy mother really

accessorized with a straw hat


who on a muggy day swung a tow chain at his neighbor

for blocking his driveway yet another time.




Calabrese cowboy


you never screamed

but I could see

a darkness rise up


and trip your tongue

like a foreign accent. 




Itself another body, this revolver. Later


wrapped in thick plastic           an artifact from WWI

utilitarian and dully mechanical

in need of oil.


Its hammer filed down, therefore

killing the gun that killed you.




Google Street View 

won’t get me past your front door.


But I still see you, 


removing papery wasp nests

with a stick

as sole protection.


The olive tree

demands tending, as always. I see you,

Abuelo, salt in hand.


Slugs shrivel

in your wake.



Author Bio

Guillermo Filice Castro is an immigrant from Argentina. A poet and photographer, he’s the author of the chapbooks Mix Tape for a War (Seven Kitchens Press, 2018) and Agua, Fuego (Finishing Line Press, 2015), as well as the recipient of an E-S-B fellowship from the St. Mark’s Poetry Project. Most recently his work has appeared in the CDC Poetry ProjectThe Good Men ProjectThe Mom Egg Review and Five 2 One. He lives in New York City.