From Mobil Gas he emerges
Like a Mack truck from the desert horizon.
You might think of bluefin tunas
Coursing the algid sea.
A man with a singular purpose
Always walks with his best foot forward-
Leans in to dusk, moon heavy on his back.
Mauricio has punched out at the station.
If you happen to see him
You might remark on the butterflies-
The small cloud of yellow, speckled wings
Fluttering like wayward kites around him.
You might even reconsider
Your faith in miracles,
To comprehend the mystery.
You could be going to the market
And have already made a list.
You could be as still as a tinsel tree
Illuminated by a spinning color wheel
In a room of immobile silhouettes.
You could have your face
Pressed against the windowpane-
Your chest, a bodiless blouse
And puffy as our Winter faces.
You could be standing in a living room
Full of boxes with your fears in tight little bundles.
You could be Mauricio Babilonia
On his way to a rendezvous, his hands
Cracked and stained with axle grease,
Black as the night gathering at his feet.
And butterflies, impossible and constant,
Brushing against his cheeks
Like a hundred kisses, the papery wings
Of golden monarchs calligraphed
With untranslatable sonnets for one Mauricio Babilonia
On his way to meet his love behind a wall
He will climb, but not fast enough
For the bullet that would seek out his heart.
Gloria, Eugene. Drivers at the Short-Time Motel. The national poetry series. New York: Penguin Books, 2000.