My father blames them.
No te andes metiendo donde no debes.
Walls couldn’t save them
because they couldn’t be saved.
Thistles hitching a ride
on an unsuspecting animal.
No te andes metiendo donde no te quieren.
Don’t go where you’re not wanted.
Which would rule out the world.
In the sun, laid out, their bodies a xylophone.
Mira lo que pasa cuando te metes
donde no debes. Look at what happens
when you want to feed your family.
In nineteen forty-six he crossed
the bridge as casually as ragweed.
And never left. No oven of an 18-wheeler.
No sealed crate to muffle sound
like a plunger mute. No darkness
to drunken instead of water.
I ask him how he is any different.
He says, in English I can barely understand,
I belong here.
Copyright © Rodney Gomez
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.