Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wilderness of Hope

Wilderness without trees
secrets and dreams
roam Guadalupe's caverns
with bones of birds and men
where conversations obey prevailing winds
brittle words and looks tumble in warning
down Main Street legends
the Chamber of Commerce’s Last Stand
against those who surrendered
to dust and empty shells,
barren reefs lining shores of highways.

Pecos, Texas: Gateway to Nada
A café's tribute of patriotism
almost hides the wood paneled walls
and you realize that West Texas
has always been a police state
Pecos Bill and his rifle-bearing posse
a collage of modern soldiers
their uniforms are banderas
the confession of the sin
of being Mexican
to painted Jesus at his Last Supper
the only one they can really count on
when the chips are down
jobs are few
they don’t replace the bullet-ridden windows
The Law never changed
only the outlaws
no white textbook deities
their stories were abducted
driven into searing light
bleached, bloodlet
unstrung corridos
salvaged by vultures and javelinas
at campfires of the disappeared.

Oil wells peck like desert gulls
to hot, slow rhythms
yo-yo in and out of creosote fields
dark men spray chemicals without masks
in screaming winds
their sky-stung, naked hands rake leaves
from Lady Bird's primary colors
bonnet blues, a ranchera to stay warm
but above the rust ghosts of petrol
frozen in mid-sentence
up on the chalky, pine-freckled mesa
the shifting winds silently turn
the giant white fans of hope.

Yasmeen Najmi

© 2010 Yasmeen Najmi

No comments:

Post a Comment