“Vienna Night 3: Brazilian Exchange Students” by Jesse Swire

portuguese lyric lilt
xe’s, lifting ocean inflection 
lifted south american toneflexing
a talker’s tongue

one ganders in psychadelic wonder
when they codeswitch– one is jealous
my rudimentary spanish gives nothing,
muddling basic phrases making my expression infantile. 
sputtering stuttering basic phrases.

They’ve darting dragonfly dancing tongues
My whiteboy’s two-left-feet-of-a-mouth
trips even just walking onto foreign dance floors. 
so when they switch to english i’m grateful + annoyed.

My mouth dreams of Ishtar, Fred Astaire, Usher
it wakes to find Shakespeare,
Immortal Technique
legends of the canonized dissemination of an island empire,
bastards of ‘e tu, brute?’ lingering around the corpse
trapped in the King’s
memorializing moments in penblood


Jesse Swire writes words until they become ideas. His poems are extractions from a soggy brain. He lives on the internet, and in New York. You will contact him with opinions! swire.jesse@gmail.com

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