Three Prose Poems

after Jose Hernandez Diaz’s “The Jaguar and the Mango”


A man hiked through the Faron region to the ridge where he sat upon a rocky beach near the Riola Spring watching a water snake whorl in the cool-clear basin, slip-smiling between refracted sunbeams that pierced the invisible surface.

Later, a group of boys arrived and began tossing mango-sized stones into the lake. The sound was dense like far-away thunder. The snake had had enough. It looped, current-carried, toward the beach and exited the water for a sweet birch motel. The man watched the snake as it climbed the tree, muscling itself into the lower bough where it disappeared among guava-green leaves to dream it was a jaguar.


I have seen the silver snake swimming among the stars like a thread stitching together constellations. There is one the shape of sadness. And another that looks like love. The silver snake circles the peak of Mount Lanayru gathering celestial glitter that forms into an image of longing. Strange how the serpent hangs there, watching my campfire burn to ash.


A man walked alone in the Tanagar Canyon. He wore a shirt the color of Mars and mangoes. The trees seemed to speak to him and he wondered if the mushrooms he had eaten contained some kind of magic. The trees told him to walk across the Tabantha Great Bridge and enjoy the view. The man listened to the trees and was not disappointed. When he arrived at the center of the bridge, he felt as if he had been there before, watching this dragon laze along the canyon like the blue-white petal of a lily flower caught in the silent current of time.