PoetryIssue 18 | June 2013

For You, Good Price

by Christopher Locke

      —Chiapas, Mexico 2012

At first, it seems more like Texas:
the agrarian shock of plow
and tree; miscellaneous scrub
of horse pinned to the horizon.
But the corn stands exhausted

in wilting silence, great crowds
of it herded in place as if
the police declared their march
illegal. And yellow flowers
rise like different-sized arms

straining: Pick me, pick me,
I am strong enough to work.
Shattered cinder blocks lay heaped
in derision, their dust beaten out
of them like hope, like the wrong

answers to a hammer’s only question.
The sunlight drops to its knees behind
the palmetto as tiny birds buckshot
the air. Later, above the sleeping city,
the stars wait their turn to dream

our faces silver as a girl sews a toy
bandolier on to her Commander Marcos
doll, placing him in a pile with others
that will fetch a sum tourists from Texas
will believe is an absolute steal.

About the author

Christopher Locke spent the last year living in Guanajuato, Mexico and Kittery Point, Maine; talk about your culture shock. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 32 Poems, Alimentum, Arc Poetry Magazine, Poetry East, Rattle, and many others. His first full-length collection of poems, End of American Magic, is currently available from Salmon Poetry. Waiting for Grace & Other Poems (Turning Point Books) and the memoir, Can I Say (Kattywompus Press) are both forthcoming in 2013. Visit him here.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok