Sunday, March 27, 2005

Taking a Trip
(Merida, Mexico, 1992)

mid-day is impossible the sun a white-white straitjacket
beating a message too loud to endure we suck at pepsi’s
in the shade of umbrellaed tiendas when we try to take
the bottles with us the shopkeeper chases us down the street

it rains every day at 4 we try not to see what floats past
us Mexican pottery tastes like copper and dust feels
like a broken tooth on your tongue

the damp smell of honeysuckle the air hot and close an
enormous hand around us my armpits leak into the
waistband of my cargo shorts my t-shirt sags against
the back of my thighs

we stumble up two monuments a day sometimes they
are steep and I’m afraid I stay on the grass and take
pictures of the skulls carved into walls

monarch butterflies follow us every where like gnats
we swat at them I make you wear a hat I worry
about your skin the photosynthesis every day you
sleep a little longer sometimes you smile and I
ask what’s funny

the buses are so hot no seats and we stand sometimes
for hours we can’t pronounce the names of the ruins

translucent bluebirds flit between trees they climb
close to your head before they are devoured by fire
ants when you run you scream like a girl

no one understands us at night we have only
the ceiling fan you shudder away from my touch
I count your pills in the bathroom while you’re
sleeping hoping you have enough there is no
map for this kind of travel

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