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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Solo in Guadalajara: A Lament

Every other day, a neighbor across the bunched
brick-walled backyards watches Star Wars,
the volume up high, its orchestral swellings
triumphal or foreboding according to the scene,
perhaps pensive, as when Obi-Wan’s cloak collapses
empty to the floor. Darth Vader, puzzled, pokes
at limp cloth with his boot’s toe. Palm fronds
two yards over brush soft brick in a light breeze.
To the apartment’s other side, beyond flat roofs, a church—
Templo Expiatorio—rises in Gothic spires, chimes
its bells on the hour. Darth Vader reveals
to the Emperor, There is another, and we begin
to understand the budding love between Luke and Leia
is romance of a different kind, Leia’s handiness
with the laser pistol part of a filial bond,
and Obi-Wan’s disappearance—poof—in his duel
had other reasons than mere good and evil.
No way I’d give it up though, no matter
what murky history whose future I might prevent,
give up body for a spectral voice or half-light
after-image counseling faith, but apparently
(forgive the pun) I don’t have to: observe Leia,
her tiny holographic body leaving her real body
intact, and setting everything in motion, her plea—
you are our only hope—intercepted mistakenly
by Luke, whose motives—hero, lover—remain
from that time on, unclear. As are mine.
Two handsome guys are getting high on the roof
across the street, talking and laughing as they pass
their joint. I’d like to join them. Instead, I take
their picture with my iPhone, secretly.
What kind of asshole does that?
The cantina scene—everyone’s favorite
except mine—tinkles through the kitchen window.
Thankfully, it’s over soon. And those are, in fact,
the droids you’re looking for. Wake up. Mimosa trees
below, fine branches, finer leaves, light green,
paint shade on the cracked and narrow walk
leading to the market, about to close.
Use the Force, Luke. Find what takes you home.  

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