Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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For Jamaica, for Ru

The TX-17 highway: we stop to watch buzzards
supping a roadkill porcupine. The mountains are a
Persian rug of emerald and brown, the sky clogged
with thunder. What will save you but this Texas morning,
the tea you accidentally spill across someone else’s novel.
A row of Mexican women stand at clotheslines,
shake the static from dresses. We’re singing instead
of sleeping. Eres muy sexy, says the wrinkled man
at the gas station. Eres divina. The jade cottonwoods
speak of flooding; the yucca tattle on the south.
You might say this is about exile, mountains eroded by
six hundred years of women’s feet, the lovely press
from babies and water buckets. Forty miles south,
mothers find their daughters’ bodies in boxes. The dusk
skittered Marfa lights, slashes of magenta and indigo
against the black land, as monstrously beautiful
as a rape tree. As we drive, a brown woman names
the dying plants. She reads the green cacti like a palm.