Saturday, November 30, 1985

Short takes from the Tropic of Cancer

On the autobus, a child in the rearview mirror
looks forward along a paved stretch of desert road,
the mirror always looking backwards
down that long road to the future.

La Páz, Baja, Mexico

The taxi driver who drove us
to Bahia del Coyote
told her young son to be good
or she'd put him out on the highway at night
to let the owls eat him.

Mulegé, Baja, Mexico

At dinner we shared tortuga steak
and picked green seeds from the tree
El Árbol de Fortuna, which is fortune itself,
neither good nor bad.
Under the full moon I saw a man
hanging by the foot
like the fool in the tarot deck.

Mulegé 11/26/85
Baja, Mexico

John sits on the ground
confronts a large boulder
painted limestone white 
with a blue stripe on it
at the Tropic of Cancer 
and he writes a poem
to a manmade concept.

Baja, Mexico

Menus at restaurants
in both La Páz
and Cabo San Lucas 
offered clamps and grabs 
and cramps and calms.
We couldn't stop laughing.

Baja, Mexico

The vulture airs his wings on the cardon cactus
because his ancestors had scales instead of feathers
and the cactus remembers when it was grass.

December 1, 1985
Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico

I want to live in a house
made of woven sticks
open to the wind and sky.

December 1, 1985
Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico


At the gringo bar in Cabo,
I entered, bundled up to my eyes,
in a red Mexican blanket
and black '50s sunglasses.
The gringos all turned to stare.
And when I dropped the disguise,
someone whispered, Oh, she's a gringa!
As if that explained anything.
And they fell back into their beer.

December 2, 1985
La Páz, Baja, Mexico

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