by Nancy E. Allen
We are roaming rows of blue agave,
standing in line to buy tamales,
fiddling with strange coins in our palms.
Our feet are dusty in sandals
and all the sounds around us are words
we barely know. They could be poems.
We have no right to expect kindness
in Mexico and yet the people
are kind, “Don’t worry; we’ve had asshole
presidents too. It’s not your fault.”
They are patient when we mangle
expressions, order food, ask directions.
We vow to study the language, travel
in South America despite fears,
re-read Neruda, Paz, Lorca.
In my mind we are driving south
with a copy of Twenty Love Poems
And A Song Of Despair, en español.
* * * * *
"Mexico" was first published in Gargoyle.
Nancy E. Allen is a DC based public defender, teaches yoga and owns a yoga studio. Her poems have appeared in Gargoyle, Tar River Poetry, Sow's Ear Review, and New Millennium Writings among other journals. She spends most of her time wishing she were somewhere else.