The fisherman loved to frighten them
with stories of a fighter squad of flying diablo squid
                        like alien jets of red
flesh, flashing madwhite & arterial, who would steal
a man from the boat on the night seas of Cortes,
spearing him with their cactus suckered tentacles
shot like a policeman’s electrical tasers, to disappear like halos
                        from this dimension
lightning-pricked into nothingness-like Hell.
It had been nine days
since they were sealed in the back of that truck
filled with Tijuana livestock, heading for Tucson. The fisherman said
                        one had to become a devil to travel
between darkness and flesh, hunger and immortality.
One had to cross children selling imitations of the Virgin
and diamond-shaped chiclets, packets of colored chewing gum
and blankets with the Aztec calendar’s inscriptions
                        and then swim through the desert
of nopales like strange sea creatures
crucifying darkness
sweating hiding
in your thirst, fugitive like the future
                        until salt in that darkness saves you.
Tijuana was bright, glittering red green and goldwhite lights
like a space station at the center of the galaxy.
Haunched in the blackness with chickens, watching
a grown man pissing
into the cup of another man’s hands, I heard cries
fugitive for any future
from the bodiless dark
scuffling like a coyote’s
across the wet, warm neck of the white
sacrificial rabbit’s
shallow breathing: my mother finally collapsed
and did not wake up. In the truck, her shriek
smelled of torn oranges
like black sweaty churches in the dirt. Now,
high on the turpentine fumes of night creosote
I think my blood is like a sunshine I will never see.
Lost in the desert, stumbling alone and laughing
how madly I rip the new cactus blossoms opening
like thirsty suicidal moons, and I eat them.
Earth, I am an Illegal
Child who will die of this thirst. I am eating your fucking dirt.
Scratching myself, I fall against these cactus thorns.
I can’t believe all the ragged moonlight
bleeding and flickering down my face and arms. Like a priest in church
I laugh and touch the penitential torches
of the brave hearts of the foolish, hot, faithful human beings.
Copyright © 2004–2023 Memorious