Amaszonas, S.A.

My head is killing me.
My wife is buying tickets to the jungle
with fraught credit cards.

My soul is drifting through thin air,
across the Arroyo de La Paz,
above this crater,
over the mountains,
to the lost Bolivian shore.

The travel agents
are Bolivian beauties, and
if I weren’t married (somos casados,
I would say, if I were they,
married inherently), I would
use my American ways to woo
these uniformed chiquitas of the Altiplano.

But my wife is buying tickets
as the micros, buses, taxis
speed down the avenida
past the stadium
where I will never cheer.

When I reveal my passport
the only man behind the counter
turns to me and says,
I need one of those.

I am the extranjero,
the strange man who has come
to take someone else’s trip.

An old woman enters from the street
and asks, Joven,
¿Donde se paga el cabro?

I don’t know what a cabro is,
but I’ll look it up.
Besides, she is Aymara,
and her grammar has nothing on mine.
I am still an extranjero with a pen.

Three American women sit
booking flights to La Selva.

I am in one of those jungle trances
where I don’t know what or why I am,
here with foreign agents
who speak well enough to say.

About the author

George Guida is the author of seven books, including a forthcoming collection of poems, Pugilistic (WordTech Editions, 2015). He is Poetry Editor of 2…

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Issue 21 · October 2014

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