Saturday, December 24, 2011


Beans and rice    chickens hung
black arms baking in the sun
banana      lime     coconut
the deep-ribbed sides of starving mutts
rebar     potholes     cinder blocks
bales of clothes    sticker shock
scent stories sliding from savory to sewage
“mesi”     “pad qua”      “bon voyage”
an orphan's cry from Canaanland
a widow's wrinkled    outstretched hand
papaya      mango      fried plantain
truth and lies      stomach pain
blackouts    vendors    honking horns
waves of love in pools of scorn
dust clouds     beggars      diesel fumes
tent cities     pigs      above-ground tombs
UN sentinels    razor wire
trash piles hosting goats or fire
coffee    thick as motor oil
the shade of palms in fertile soil
wet-hot winds whip tattered flags
over soccer fields with balls of rags
bright white smiles  sugar cane
a persistent  rooster's sharp refrain 
Tampico flowing      orange and pink
wells of water none can drink
nuns and crosses crescent moons
the echo of Voodoo shadows  too
scripture scrawled on cars and signs
evangelistic battle lines.

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