Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

         Two Poems

by Richard Leis

a haunting
the lizard
in the bathroom
where I left it alone
now dead
along its trail by tongue and taste
trapped or poisoned
starved in no place natural
            clean room bleached and scrubbed
            a place of hunger
            dominion free
of crickets and silverfish
            or heat and warmth
choked on hair and skin flake
            barefoot mammal
grime over all the linoleum
heart stopped
            frightened by a sudden giant
            dark shape blocking light
or illuminated
in every ape detail for reptile eyes wide
paralyzed underfoot
            in the dark
linked low along the great chain of being
that denies the branches
of all life
forms lie more horizontal than vertical
            more thicket than tree
uncared for by a present god
who lives in peace
with no field guide
not carried outside
            under bush
            under rock
            under sky
haunts me
Annular Eclipse
I knew not to reach for your back without rectangle welder’s glass. “Look,” I said, “The moon and sun, and close to our eyes planets explode from their epicycles.” I felt ready to fold myself into your paper launch. You said, “We shadow like brothers.” I traced down your V-shape with parallel rays and left without meeting. The geometry seared my ellipse with a focus behind—between us—and one ahead. In retinas, your silhouette can always see me yesterday, yesterday when you were brilliant.

Richard Leis lives in Tucson, Arizona where he works in planetary science. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype and is forthcoming from The Laurel Review. His fiction has been published in Cold Creek Review. His website is