The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Steve Castro

Heartless circa, 1900


In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
if I were the tin man
I would burn a part
of the scarecrow every winter
until he disappeared
so I could keep myself warm -

I would also sell
the cowardly lion
to the local zoo

and everywhere I’d go
I would pull Dorothy
by a massive iron chain
that I would have welded
around her neck and call her Toto,
until she understood
that we are not in Kansas anymore.



Steve Castro

Masked men


I wonder how I’m going to die, and by that I don’t mean,
will I roll a one, a three or even a six? I mean death.
According to the book of Revelation, even Death
will be cast into the lake of fire. A cast of characters
with broken dreams, each wearing a different Japanese mask:
Oni, Tengo, Kitsune. There are two sides to every story,
which can be seen from my second story window.
It’s like I live in a parallel universe. A man
walks into a bar wearing three masks. He asks
for the destruction of the world. The bartender
is unfamiliar with said drink, so the man takes off
one of the three masks and asks for an Irish car bomb.
The bartender nods in agreement. Far away, a car explodes,
killing nineteen people. Faceless bodies everywhere.
Masked men with body bags pick up what remains.



Steve Castro

The one


The fire was so massive and intense, its flames reached up to the heavens and incinerated
the earth’s moon. Food was so scarce in the blue planet after that apocalyptic scorching, the sole phoenix that rose from the soot and ashes, became so hungry, it ate itself. That uroboric mythical creature was not alone in its plight. Behemoth clouds of smoke possessed the celeste sky, turning it charcoal. As for human survivors, an alien satellite honed in on a small child, all of his hairs were singed from his body. He was walking alone, naked, but with a great fire in his eyes, which no galaxy had ever before seen or would ever see again.




STEVE CASTRO's poetry is forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, and two anthologies, Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latin@ Science Fiction and Fantasy (Wings Press) and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States (Tia Chucha Press.) Twitter: @PoetryEngineer. Birthplace: Costa Rica.



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