Burritos Again

eighteen Mexicans

assholes to bellybuttons

in a box truck trailer

swelter in search of

freedom

 

hushed whispers float

through sweat-soaked

air

speaking of opportunity

straight teeth and automobiles

wood floors and glass windows

t.v. and American women

 

no one is over fifty

few over fifty make it

 

the group had been on the road

for three days, not all driving,

some waiting, on the side

of the road, in desert’s middle

 

a man of thirty-eight passed out

on the second day

vomited upon waking

others puked out of sympathy

some from the smell

 

if you had to piss

or crap, there was a hole

through a board

just wide enough

where everyone

must go

 

there were few stops for

air

mostly for a change in

drivers, paid by the

weight

cargo bound for freedom

 

the land of the free

where an ounce

in Oklahoma

gets you

ten years

but you serve three

for sexual assault

 

where you say what

you want to say

because no one

believes you

anyway

 

where the same old song

plays, and the haves have

more

and the could haves

have not

 

dream turned nightmare

 

but the eighteen

in the back

hold on

to the dream,

paying three

some four

years

salary

to be

free

 

desperate people hold on

to freedom dreams

 

the eighteen are not afraid

of work, nor do they cringe

at the sound

of English

 

está la lengua de oportunidad

 

says one

others nod

and drowse

 

the truck stops with a jolt

Coyote outside speaks

tells them to stay

inside until the dark

comes,

then leaves

 

we are here

outside is America

I will get a haircut tomorrow

land of opportunity

I will find my brother

poverty and oppression

I will buy a hamburger

bankruptcy and depression

we are ready

 

the light through the hole

starts to fade

and the eighteen

become restless

some want to go

now

and others plead to

wait

the dark comes

 

the eighteen file out

wide-eyed at the WalMart

de México

hungry from the smell of

fajitas de pollo

dizzy from the journey

impatient to be

somewhere

 

to be

somewhere

no está América,

says one

 

mira el banco,

says another,

está Banamex

 

 

Gabriel punches Juan

in the shoulder and rubs his

stomach

burritos again