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BORDER CHANT FOR THE WAYWARD

Submitted by on September 17, 2016 – 6:04 am 2 Comments

BORDER CHANT FOR THE WAYWARD
by Matthew Phillips

Passport photos and foil-flecked pinwheels, hot exhaust splashing breath
against taco vendors and a German Shepard (well-trained, I imagine)—three
spins of the clock, a half-full bottle of gold tequila and a last ditch effort
to score a gram of Mexican pot | I went to Rosarito Beach on a Friday plastered
with sea breeze, met a painter called Jaime in the tourist sector: He’s a tribal
leader in a last band of renegade artists—you spin worlds with a paintbrush,
drip-dry in beach sands | I studied a lone Mexican cop with my good eye,
prayed for reprieve from weekday demands and routine (back home), bought
weathered spruce firewood from a mango vendor near Valle de Guadalupe
and listened to sea lions on a rocky shoreline while, above and high and bright,
a full moon rose and fell in pendulum pattern | At the border, an American
with red cheeks and an underbite told me I’d need an inspection, pinned
my blue passport to my insect-splattered windshield | Who gave man authority
to draw lines on natural things, to pin a beating heart to a map?

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