“Joy to the World!” (Oaxaca, 2010)
A final glance at Christmas lights
beneath a neon Cuervo sign,
drinkers laughing, slapping backs.
A home of sorts: macho bar,
laughter, television, some alone and quiet,
others banging bottles, shouting jokes.
Street outside clogged with charcoal smoke,
charred roasting ears,
groans of buses lurching past stalled cars.
Mariachis, CD carols, teenaged marching bands,
Virgen posters framed by twinkling lights,
a beggar half-asleep beside her empty cup.
People laugh, cry for help, kneel and pray,
dance as clowns on stilts buffoon
the shadows darkening the alleys blurred by rain.