Hands getting cold at night. Light flashing
through the chain-link fence on the bridge
over the dammed river from El Paso, sun getting low
in the West so the light comes fast between the shadows.
And Betty’s minestrone soup and Peter’s bread
in their house in Juárez, and outside in Juárez
the sound of dogs barking. And the evening, and the fish
the woman next door fries when Betty and I visit,
and the woman’s daughter, Selia, who is seventeen—
Age, is that lost? Lost, the idea of seventeen?—
Selia, who has two braids tied with different-colored
rubber bands, one red, one blue, her hair
dyed the soft red of carnations.
Lost, the feeling of shame, of shyness?
What about the feeling of being far from home?
And Betty’s hands on my hands in their yard at night,
and the sky in the morning above Selia’s street
like a field of lemon trees, just as pale, just as simple.
Copyright © 2018 Margaree Little
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.