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Juan Pablo Duboué






memory falls

into ripped posters.

I appreciate the realism,

the cozy lies of old

strategically placed, modestly cut, I show

no remorse in spite of your efforts.

Here’s a half-moon weeping deadly stars.

Here’s a severed torso, here a broken smile.

This pastiche is yours to fix before time burns down.




this is a no place

the absence of sound

the rejection of utterances

the guttural speech is

displaced and lost

weakened by the addition

of nada.


this is a me place

carefully curated

by muted ghosts in pastel rags

they waltz around, unaware

oblivious to the silent quartet.


this is a motionless place

all movement an illusion

retinas play games on us

mis ojos are stripped from

bare knowledge and flimsy wisdom


back to the original me

all I need is an open window

to welcome this dark freedom.




Driving down the valley

the ochre vines of autumn

undulated across the road.



the washed out dreams

of a winemaking clan.


We were never blessed

with the gift of the land,

the stern dryness

of decision.


This was our home

by imposition.

Born, yet not bred:

Wetlanders in the middle

of this desert.


You would have thought

we’d be welcomed with

outstretched hands,

the need for water

in such arid lands.


But Mountain Dwellers

knew better than to trust

those not belonging to their regions.


Upon arrival,

the house had remained unchanged,

frozen in time.


I could already relive

the memories

of our childhood days.

The freshness of the backyard,

the scorching sun

melting the clay statues

in the upstairs room,

the eternal summer

and the sudden, punishing



A land of extremes,

a house of Wetlanders

in the middle of this urban oasis.


She went in first

while I stood in silence,

lost in a daydream

of youth


as the first drop of sweat

trickled down my neck,

chilling me back to reality

– we were home.




At first glance you would have thought I was weak

I shut my eyes and welcome fear back in

The blinding lights of love have reached its peak

I dress my soul in unrequited skin

I fall into the clutches of your sin.

The wicked wings of change have caught me fast

Dear Agony won’t melt away my past

It’s back, the longing arms of grief outstretch

beyond the everlasting tears forecast:

I stand, a consequence of what you sketch.




They come unannounced

and with them bring

the thunder and the lightning.

They travel in the fastest of clouds,

they multiply in darkness.


Their speech is the whispering 

of the wind and the pouring of the rain.

They wander in groups,

so if you've seen one

you've seen them all

and it's too late.


The first time I heard them

I was only a child.

Night terrors were an everyday chore,

so my mother banished them

to nightmare land

and promised they would never



The second time,

I was a teenager.

They were with me

far too long.

They followed me to school

in the sound of leaves

and the fumes of cars...


heard them in

the screeching of bikes

as they played with

the traffic lights.



the day was my refuge,

they only take body form

at night.


So I armed myself

with flashlights

and the brightness of my mobile,

I even bought lava lamps!

and the streetlights

brought me solace.


I did all in my power

to ignore their effect.

And I guess I outdid them,

cause one day

they just left.


It's been decades now,

they're a distant memory

I had assumed the haunting

was over and done with,


but as I

stare out

the window

I see clouds

getting near

and a

distant lightning

alerts them: I’m here.


It'll be seconds

before the sky

is covered in tar.

And the wind

and the thunder

and rain




They have come to collect.

They say third time’s the charm.

As I’m writing these words

they are smiling right back.


Juan Pablo Duboué, MA resides in Mendoza, Argentina, where he works as a Vice Principal of a bilingual secondary school and a teacher of English Literature, Language and History in both secondary schools and teacher training colleges. He enjoys ballet, contemporary dance, reading, singing and writing. He's had poems published in The Main Street Rag, Veil: Journal of Darker Musings, The Criterion and several national literary magazines from Argentina. Bienvenue à la Danse, Juan Pablo.

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