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by Jonathon Garcia

The agave piña drinks her last jalisco
sunshine from a shot glass of sky.
Then she’s spirited enough
to face her fleshing.  Sweet
shredded pulp funneled
into a cask, yeast interred,
backfilled with time.

The tequila glass lies no-holds-barred
on the counter.
In the cantina, the man
crouches into his disheveled sombrero.
Splintered crucifix,
tattered peso,
the man recalls
and breaks drunk into deep
navy blue smoke.
¡Ay mi pueblo, mi pueblo!

He fingers through hair inherited
from his revolutionary father.
It’s thick, tough enough to make him a rope.
Swarthy, knotted round his neck like a noose.

At least I can drink to her,
the words siphoned out his throat.

Then she son de la negra entrances
to a swell of gritos mexicanos
summoned memory of seductive colors.
She flairs her red skirt like a wildfire,
pellucid destruction,
taut thighs of heat,
dancing on a stage of austere pride
for a people who believe they possess her
But the agave, she was here
before the mexicans.
Before the spanish.
The aztec.
No cherubic flaming sword guarded her then.
No jackass jawbone disturbs her now.