For You, Good Price

—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…

Read the full bio

Issue 18 · June 2013

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