City Moon

Perfect disc of moon, huge
and simmering
low on the capital’ s filthy horizon — ¡ Ay,
qué luna más hermosa! she says
pushing the stroller slowly down Atocha.
And gorgeous too the firm-thighed

boys from Lisbon
a block away, who work
Kilometer Zero’ s sidewalk, the neon
shoestore they lean against
cupping the flames
of passing strangers.

The Chain Letter (An American Tragedy)

Ohdammit sez John I’m in trouble
so I sed why John?
John sez I got the bill for my insurance
and I haven’t got no money to pay it
cause I won’t get paid for swoking and bailing
Keith Guymon’s hay till next week
I done told him that would be just fine
when he ast a week ago but
LaVerne she went and opened the damn envelope
on a chain letter and I aint got no time
to write out twenty copies
I got to get that hay finished
so what am I posta do now?


After his ham & cheese in the drape factory cafeteria,
having slipped by the bald shipping foreman
to ride a rattling elevator to the attic
where doves flicker into the massive eaves
and where piled boxes of out-of-style
cotton and lace won’t ever be
decorating anyone’s sun parlor windows.
Having dozed off in that hideout he fixed
between five four-by-six cardboard storage cartons