Like a Prisoner of Soft Words by Carolyn Doris Wright

We walk under the wires and the birds resettle.
We know where we’re going but have not made up our mind
which way we will take to get there.
If we pass by the palmist’s she can read our wayward lines.
We may drop things along the way that substantiate our having been here.
We will not be able to transmit any of these feelings verbatim.
By the time we reach the restaurant one of us is angry.
Here a door gives in to a courtyard
overlooking a ruined pool.
We suspect someone has followed one or the other of us.
We touch the spot on our shirt where the ink has seeped.
The lonely outline of the host is discerned near an unlit sconce.
As guests we are authorized not to notice.
We drop some cash on the tablecloth.
We lack verisimilitude but we press on with intense resolve.
At the border, under a rim of rock, the footbridge.
Salt cedars have grown over the path.
The water table is down.
And we cannot see who is coming, the pollos and their pollero,
the migra, the mules, the Minutemen, the women
who wash for the other women al otro lado.
Or the murdered boy herding his goats after school. 6:27,
the fell of dark, not day.

From: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/07/02/like-a-prisoner-of-soft-words

Date: 2007

By: Carolyn Doris Wright (1949-2016)

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