7 December 2000.
8. [Old Neighborhoods]
Border heart Mexican megalopolis
neighborhood huddles jowl by wall
streets named for latin american republics.
Walk from Chamizal gate. Elva said
"hay partes..." parts of old Juárez still live.
Eleven a.m. Thursday block houses
wait quiet; residents gone work and school.
Neither poor nor rich. Apartments, homes, shops.
Tepeyac. Honduras. Hmos Escobar.
One corner bldg all red & white brick.
Un melting adobe @ 820.
Calle signs mounted on walls like horseback
guards at each intersection. Street poplars
trimmed practically two meters over
sidewalk; you pass under barely ducking.
"Eminently pedestrian," as planners say.
All that walk you imagine this Mexican
city, map in your head, not in your hand,
and the image for your experience –
only the sun may guide your shadow
west across the heart toward the heart;
it's true what Elva said – old Juárez lives
new. But then you see the gaps in those teeth.
Broken walls. Abandoned homes. Empty blocks.
There are insurance bets and
Top9. [Centro Historico]
the limits of time
to assure, and to ensure
your return another time
already again another coming back
2 = 3 . You shall guard the river future.
You, regent of sovereign state, decide your
turning path away from water this trip
feet go Ochoa, Gonzalez, Villa
16 Septiembre on 7 December
and never a trace of infamy
in 2000 nights of dreaming walk you
finally emerge at the oldest core.
It is broad noon, the weather delightful.
Downtown traffic roars lion cage frustration
at pedestrian streets filled with tiny booths.
Shoppers' paradise. Don't bring your car.
Be sure to visit the old misión
three hundred years shall reward you today
with wooden beam roof overhead and prayer
plazas full of mid-day gente
street preacher crying out loud
what is the meaning of navidad
santa rings his bell
a gathering of los cultos
in the ghetto of humanidades
reminds you of Aldous Huxley
gassing the British Museum
wine, sandwiches, music, poetry, art make
speeches, play music, and you each read
they give you a beautiful plaque
and a cheque
the other poets are so good
you feel better to be chosen
but you miss her, want
her by your side
"did you translate that one?"
No, my girlfriend did.