Saturday, December 26, 2009

Always a Favorite -- "Mauricio's Song" by Eugene Gloria

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,

Your capacity

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.

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