With no new lands to brawl and tumble
into we simply wait and wait never
far enough away to stand
on our own two feet
Through the non-baroque cathedrals
of El Norte, frank in cubits of dust,
lined with vacant shoeshine chairs
and pigeons of Hidalgo
Citrus battalion orchards, malinchistas
lie cheat steal or sin in the Valle de Tejas,
but no one begs, no one retreats.
This ain’t no San Jacinto.
From the refinery across the septic canal;
the coyotes’ false Rio Bravo, where the broken
migrants are left to meet la migra of Reynosa
gripping Soriana bags in recognition.
We know how these things destabilize.
We’re not two plazas speaking of crowds.
We’re two persons speaking of plazas.
We’ve spoken up some fine plazas.
There. The gunshots of Comanche and Cartel
from around Vicente Guerrero tonight
Crystal City cheerleaders and Matamoros mayors
sleep soundly in Brownsville tonight
There is a new humanity on the frontier eternal
as infinite as the gaze of one at another
knowing full well that the place of meeting
is no kind of place but a kind of friction
We know how these things demoralize.
We’re not two republics dreaming of People.
We’re two people dreaming of Republics.
No one retreats. No asking twice.
This will be a hot summer.