The Country Dog Review

Lucian Mattison

First Generation Argentinean American (Gringo)

I watch tio Charlie hunch over
a Spanish guitar, yaw,

his jaw wide with El Canción
de Las Cosas Simples.

I follow his fingerpicking, strum
with a cigarette, voice flickering

like the call of a Sickle-
winged Nightjar. When he sings,

I see my grandfather’s moustaches arch,
eyes bulge, a song erupting

from both men at once.
His chest puffs up, bellows

for lungs, and blows outward
through grease smoke, links of blood

sausage hissing, his mouth a grill
chimney spitting it out over the crickets.

It’s always after dinner, late
into the night, when I finally sing along,

hear my voice inhabit
a familiar melody, as if

I’ve lived my entire life somewhere else
in a second tongue.

Lucian Mattison is currently enrolled in the creative writing Master of Fine Arts program at Old Dominion University. His poems can be found in Digital Americana, Fat City Review, and Muzzle. He edits poetry for the Green Briar Review and Barely South Review. In his spare time he enjoys cooking and playing Backgammon.