Schoolyard in Cuetzalan

Could you live here? he asked, meaning the trumpets and the bone-rattling streets, the crisp white shirts and someone forever sweeping a sidewalk to dust. Could you? he asked, meaning our son, unborn, and our daughter’s lily white hand.   Darling, a part of us always will. CLICK ON RECORDING TO LISTEN

Mamacitas

Voices spill from the valley, cool and round, too early for dogs. Women call themselves to work as the clouds part and the earth twitches: how darkness anticipates dawn. Dress the church in heliconias. Fly the flag of the mother of mothers. Walk on the bones of the boisterous dead.   These streets are a…

Noon bells in El Centro

The cathedral is sinking. The state, agitated, has responded with scaffolds and prosthetics.   Everyone has noted this except the cleaning woman who each night slips in to touch the Lady of the Immaculate Conception and wipe away her dust like tears.   (Originally published as “Teotihuacan,” in Goodbye: Poems for Leaving, Cubicle Press, 2007)…

Train coming around the tracks

The silence was the most disturbing part. The whole world standing staring at these metal sinews tripped and quick-frozen. Now with summer at its heaviest, the air burning with the ingratitude of August and the back-and-forthing of combines. There’s been much hail — we’ve huddled tsk-tsking, watching the sky like a felon. What did we…