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Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca is a published writer/poet and visual artist. His poetry has appeared in literary journals including Rattle, The Bilingual Review, El Colombiano and Urban Latino. His artwork has been exhibited in art galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, and Mexico City.

Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-2001 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

spirit animals

by Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca

she became a jaguar before me
her eyes grew round, her snarl deepened

she pounced to a low branch, stretching out, closing her eyes

I also paused for a moment, resting within the roots of the tree

the wind caught my arm
and I turned to see a ray of light across the pathway

I smiled and moved up to the warmth
leaves bristling beside me
a little boy ran past, his features rapidly
changing into a small, chattering monkey
his sister soon followed, her giraffe neck reaching into the trees looking for him

laughing, I bent my arms and climbed through the thick vines,
each green leg crossing with precision
I watched them play for a while -- her snout sniffing him out,
his tail curling around a branch and swinging down to scare her

I felt a rustling nearby, she approached, her scent heavy and sweet - her sharp teeth glistening

I jumped towards the earth, landing near her paws
I moved beside her - she turned, trying to find me

my cool rushing waters frightened her at first, then she gave chase,
running alongside my currents, roaring with delight
I flowed into the afternoon, her silvery body swimming across me, smooth and deep

we reached a vastness of water and she stretched above me, her branches stretching upwards

I blew across the sands, rounding the edge of the shore, resting in her blossoming flowers