Thursday, December 24, 2009

Balloons and Boulders

What is crime, I ask.
What is punishable if unavoidable, you go.

Say the man is twenty-nine
or twenty-five, but looks moth-eaten,
cheeks as sawtoothed as cliffs.

Say he is six foot two.
Say he is car-less and comfortless
(and that explains his females, 
the appetites).
Say his arms have gone black,
intricate twists and helixes where 
needles have pricked and poked him.
Say his eyes are starved.
Say his eyes are illiterate,  his lungs rash.

From a window, I watch.
From a window, I count.
Seven cars in one afternoon.
A stream of them:  coming!  coming!

There are loud women who knock handsomely,
and men, groomed, silent as spiders, 
weaving caliche into stunning lace, 
their urges clutched to navels as another 
would wield cash.  This is the envelope of unloading: 
Allotments and the burden of a balloon 
as hulking as boulders.

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