Barrio With Sketchy Detail
Except for the chickens humming to each other,
by Andrea Werblin
making themselves look boneless in the dirt,
I want no memory of this place.
I will leave gingerly.
I will leave strung out.
I will leave rocking on my heels in unbearable heat.
the Mexican girls still faking and mourning Selena
from their perfect cement stoops,
not yet sworn to the anger hanging
from their papas' mouths like cigarettes.
I will leave stunned, from across the room.
I will leave by instinct, my tongue intact.
I will leave understanding it
was always coming, before that night, even
before we met. Marta will stand quiet, a glyph,
Pedro offer beer in cups. We'll sit.
When I leave, the sky will be a gouache of scratches,
the morning sluggish, a cactus flowering.
Or I will leave in blistered dark. It will still be true.