The Cantu Series, Zeke Sanchez

Kansas Farm 2, 60X36, John Brosio


The Cantu Series


Is a series of poems covering
the lives of Efrin Cantu;
a man non-existent in the suburbs
though he lives there as a daytime
shadow, gone at night. The crickets
sing in the walls or rub their legs
or wings, and he does, too, since
he’s not real. Efrin left
with his shorter brother to that
village in Zacatecas or Michoacan
never to return. Maybe waylaid
by Zetas or the Sinaloa Cartel,
maybe harassed by the Border Patrol,
maybe got tired.

Here, he mowed my lawns,
the front and back. Always optimistic,
vibrant, spring-armed and strong,
solid, they waited for the weekends
to play soccer, a passion. I
don’t know where they went. They
left last fall after the leaves
had stopped falling from the giant oak
and hickory. In a series
of letters I imagined them alive
and well, having come back
to California where
their imaginary sister owned a tortilleria
and they both got jobs. It’s
a nice sentiment on my part,
as if here on Bleeker Street
there weren’t enough homeless.

Somebody in a Prius dropped
off two dachshunds
at the corner by Carl’s Pizza
yesterday. They huddled
together at a busy corner. As
if that’s not enough. I wanted
to find the owners and just
look them in the eye.

Zeke Sanchez

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