by Emily Ho

The air was
silver trash and yellow flowers,
candles from el dia de los muertos
still burning,
the skinny voices of the boys
in the alley below:
Ai, mami! Don’t we look like mangos in a tree?
Take our picture too—

Other photographs include:
Crucifix fixed to a city bus dash,
Ribbed horses in sombreros (out of focus),
Cactus Christmas lights ushering out the last days,
Coyotes crying like children in darkness,
And two photographs I did not take—

Coming in off cobbled street, the discoteca
is wagging, doggerel,
losing body to beat, to sweat, to heat
and I nearly miss her—
dancing and crying and looking
at me.

I don’t know if I should ignore her, or
pinch her elbow
and smile; if there’s some bearing in
dancing beside her,
we moving like mackerel at school,
like an echo, a recitation—on earth
as it is in heaven.

I turn to leave when
some pìnto hombre
pinches my elbow,
coughs like the clack of a door
closed with unsteady hands,
yo soy Dìos.