In Spanish he whispers there is no time left. It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat, the ache of some field song in Salvador. The wind along the prison, cautious as Francisco’s hands on the inside, touching the walls as he walks, it is his wife’s breath slipping into his cell each night while he imagines his hand to be hers. It is a small country.
The day ended badly with a broken ankle,
a jinxed printer, and a dead car. The dry yellow grass
against the sunset saved me. Roosters
pranced across a lawn of shit, proudly plumed
in black feathers, bobbing before the gray goats.
It was the first day I saw god in the quiet,
and found a mustard seed was very small.
There I had been for years cursing “why?”
and all the gold in the sun fell upon me.
There was a white mare in the midst
of brown smog, majestic in the refinery
clouds. Even the radio wouldn’t work!
My mother limps and her hair falls out.
The faithful drive white Chevy trucks
or yellow Camrys, and I’m here golden
on the smoking shock-less bus.
I lost language in this want, each poem
dust, Spanish fluttered
as music across the desert, even weeds
tumbled unloved. The police sirens seared
the coming night, dogs howled helplessly
Lo I walk the valley of death, love
lingers in my hard eyes. Mañana never
comes just right. I mend myself in the folds
of paper songs, ring my paper bells
for empty success. Quiero Nada,
if I sing long enough, I’ll grow dreamlike
and find a flock of pigeons, white under
wings lifting awkward bodies like doves
across the silky blue-white sky