Departure from Saline River

‘I’m sorry. I haven’t done this before
and I’m quite nervous,’ he said,
folding himself into the suitcase.

‘Don’t worry,’ she said, ‘Take your time.
The whole town’s come to see you off.’

Once his legs had been broken
and tucked beneath him
they would begin their anthem.

He remembered how it sounded that first day.
Like all the drowning lungs of the sea.

A heron in a standoff with the river.
The questioning necks of three – no, four – flamingos.
All of it. He could taste it already,

the ink of their feedback.

what the women are doing | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

what the women are doing

for Elaine Feeney

while we watch our movies sunk in beanbags
    the women
are talking without pause of blocked guts
   ladling food into handbags
     where it settles in …

In Pasadena | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Pasadena

Midnight once he stood me
  by the door of our refrigerator
   open, like a wedge of cheese in darkness,

a milk glass in my hand,
  he yelled, he …

Sneaking Your Dead Body into Mexico | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Sneaking Your Dead Body into Mexico

 

             Mexico lindo y querido, muero lejos de ti, que digan que estoy

             dormido, y que me traigan aqui.

                     —song by Jorge Negrete

 

Let the sky flip and shake …

Notes from El Valle Megamart | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Notes from El Valle Megamart

 

1.
Sister Juanita buys cherry flavored
Lip gloss for the girls
Apple bubble gum for the boys
The lord’s prayer
Smells like a fruit stand
Under the summer sun
Across …

Arrival | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Arrival

 

      By throat is how we arrived

      A cradle in voice

      A passion & command

 
      By hands is how we arrived

      A touch

      Skin rising, cringing,

      Churning of a …