Fall 2015

Volume 10, Issue 2



Rebozo Seller


They hang from wooden racks
in the dazzling Mexican sun.

For years she has sold them
on the same street corner
to wide-eyed strollers from the states.

With what fluid grace she handles them,
draping just the right one
across her shoulders, clutching
its fringed edges at her chest.

She slides it from her body
as if it were silk, dangling it
like the cape of a matador
before the eyes of a certain buyer,
closing her sale with a couple
of timed, delicate jerks.

For years she has sold them
since the day of her husband's death,
eking out her meager sustenance.

She has clothed her very soul
with their brightness, fondling
her rebozos in the sun,
letting their colors work,
bleeding through her fingers like rivers.





I stare at a hand-colored lithograph
by Amado Maurilio Peña,
hanging in its frame under a pane of glass.

It's a painting of a Navajo woman
painting a large vase she's sitting behind.
Her right arm is exaggerated,

reaching around the vase the front of which
she's painting with a brush,
a painting whose subject is painting

under a pane of glass reflecting through a window
the blood-red blooms of a rosebush.
The blooms are swaying around the painter

in the painting, painting, like the plumed headdresses
of Aztec priests emerging through the centuries,
bringing eerily to life this painting

of a Navajo woman painting,
jangling the dark decades
with chains of thickest blood.



The Muralists
(Mexico City)


With but the hues
of blood, sun, and sky,
they worked their vivid miracles
on towering scaffolds,

risking a fall to certain death
or creeping blindness.
Flat on their backs
for years, they labored,

driven by the urgency
of stories begging color
made rigorous with form;
rendering histories

to dazzle the glazed,
starving eyes of the ages
with the freshness of flower
smeared on the staleness of stone.


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